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Questions about P-EBT Food Benefits

The district has received many questions about the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program. This program provides temporary food benefits to households with children who would have received free school lunches under the National School Lunch Act, if not for a reduction in in-person learning due to the pandemic.  

P-EBT food benefits are being issued by the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. These temporary food benefits are being provided to help cover the cost of meals children would have otherwise received at school during the 2020-21 academic year. 

Children who receive free school lunches through the National School Lunch Program are eligible for P-EBT food benefits if their school operated with reduced in-person attendance due to COVID-19 during the 2020-21 school year. That means that students who were hybrid or remote for the 2020-21 school year are eligible to receive the P-EBT benefits.  

You do not (and cannot) apply for P-EBT food benefits. P-EBT food benefits will automatically be issued to eligible children. The district and school nutrition office do not have a role in the distribution of these benefits, nor are they involved with the determination or distribution of P-EBT benefits. 

For additional information, including answers to the questions of how much will be received and when, please visit the P-EBT Frequently Asked Questions webpage or call the P-EBT Food Benefits Helpline at 1-833-452-0096. 

We still encourage all families to continue to submit applications for free or reduced priced meals to ensure the most accurate information is on file in the event the federal government sponsors a new batch of P-EBT food benefit cards during the pandemic. Students who receive free or reduced-price meals may also qualify for fee waivers for things like AP exams or college applications. 

Click here for more information about P-EBT.