Eligible families still have time to apply for P-EBT

Written by: Stephanie Perez-Carrillo
Date Posted: August 28, 2020

School district and anti-hunger organizations are racing against the clock to help families apply for and receive Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) benefits. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced this week that they would not extend or reauthorize several school nutrition waivers and programs set to expire on Sept. 30, including P-EBT. This important program provides an average benefit of $5.70 per meal for families with school-aged children who would have received free or reduced-price lunches during the previous school year for the months of March, April and May.

More than 390,000 Colorado children were eligible to receive healthy meals through this program, yet only a third of families had applied and received the one-time $279 benefit at the beginning of August. The Colorado Department of Human Services encourages families who may have become eligible due to job loss, and families who were not enrolled in SNAP to apply for the benefit.

Since March, 47 percent of all Colorado adults reported someone in their household losing some amount of employment income according to data from the Census Pulse Survey. This means that children who were not receiving free and reduced-price lunches during the school year may have recently become eligible to receive benefits through this program.

Families are struggling to meet their basic needs and are working hard to survive the impacts of the pandemic. We know that school meals provide an important source of nutrition for kids, and we must do everything we can to support working families to ensure kids have access to food in an ever-changing remote school environment. In addition to enrolling eligible families in P-EBT and giving them access to the benefit, we must advocate for the extension and the reauthorization of critical school nutrition waivers and programs that have supported kids and working families.

Take action now by directing families who may be eligible for P-EBT to the application  here. Ask Congress and Sonny Perdue, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to extend important waivers and programs for this school year.

Use the sample tweets below:

  • @SecretarySonny & @USDANutrition: Hungry kids can’t wait. Please heed bipartisan calls & use existing authority to extend waivers to ensure access to meals this school year. #DoRightFeedKids
  • Rates of #foodinsecurity are rising as key meal waivers are set to expire. @SecretarySonny & @USDANutrition: #DoRightFeedKids and extend these flexibilities for this school year.

 

 

 

Stephanie Perez-Carrillo

About Stephanie Perez-Carrillo

Stephanie works as a Policy Analyst for the Colorado Children’s Campaign. Prior to joining the Children’s Campaign, she worked as a Public Policy Fellow at The Women’s Foundation of Colorado – where she found her love and passion for policy work. Before diving into the policy world, Stephanie served as a Teach for America Corps Member in South Carolina, teaching high school and middle school math. Early on while obtaining her degree in Marketing from Florida International University, she worked in health care as a Patient Advocate and Unit Secretary. When she is not working, you can typically find her at a coffee shop, hanging out with friends, or engaging in some type of outdoor activity.