Pandemic P-EBT benefit provides food assistance to families who lost access to school/childcare meals during pandemic
TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly, in collaboration with the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) and Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE), today announced the continuation of the Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) program for Kansas families who missed out on school lunches during the 2020-2021 school year.
“Expanding the P-EBT program to childcare facilities will address food insecurity and make sure all Kansas children have reliable access to healthy foods as we overcome COVID-19,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “Keeping young Kansans safe and healthy is critical, and I’m glad to see this program reaching the families who need it most.”
Through this program, P-EBT will provide a nutritional resource to families who lost access to free or reduced-price school meals and/or childcare meals due to school closures or reduced in-person attendance hours for at least five consecutive days.
P-EBT funds are being issued for the 2020-2021 school year beginning in late June 2021.
Children that attended a school that reported days missed due to COVID-19 are eligible for P-EBT. A child qualifies for P-EBT if:
• They qualified for free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch Program, and,
• The child did not receive free or reduced-price meals at school because the school was closed or operated with reduced attendance or hours for at least five consecutive days due to COVID-19.
School children do not have to be on the food assistance program through DCF to receive this special P-EBT benefit.
Additionally, children under the age of 6 in a household that received food assistance in Kansas at any time since October 1, 2020 are eligible for P-EBT benefits if they live or attend a childcare facility in an area where one or more schools were closed or operating with reduced attendance or hours.
“This year, the P-EBT benefit has been expanded to include youth in childcare facilities who were affected by the pandemic,” said Kansas DCF Secretary Laura Howard. “This program is essential to families who are experiencing food insecurity and don’t always know where their next meal will come from.”
P-EBT benefit amounts will vary by child based on that child’s learning situation. The specific benefit amount per child will be provided to the household on the approval notice received in the mail. Families will receive their benefits on a new or their existing Kansas Benefits Card (EBT Card).
• For households that already receive public assistance through DCF, the P-EBT benefit will be automatically issued to the household’s Kansas Benefits Card (EBT Card). Benefits will be issued in one lump sum, staggered over 10 days in June 2021 for the months of August 2020 through May 2021. An application through DCF is not needed.
• Households that do not receive public assistance must apply through the DCF self-service portal, https://cssp.kees.ks.gov/apspssp/sspNonMed.portal, using a unique identifier received from their school. The application process is estimated to start July 12.
Recipients can use their P-EBT funds to purchase eligible foods from approved retailers that accept food assistance benefits, like grocery stores and online at Aldi, Amazon or Walmart.
P-EBT for the summer months of 2021 will be issued as a supplemental benefit in the fall.