Federal Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) Program
The Federal Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) program was launched in the spring of 2020 to help support food-insecure families purchase food for their children while schools were closed to students. to help meet this statewide need. The program provided a benefit on an EBT card that could be used to buy food at authorized retailers, including most major grocery stores. Our department has been notified by NC DPI and NCDHHS of a brief extension of P-EBT benefits. Under the new federal guidelines, many families that received P-EBT benefits in the spring may or may not be eligible to receive benefits this fall. Under the US Department of Agriculture’s new guidance and the September 30 deadline, DHHS provided P-EBT benefits to as many children as possible, with the wish they could have helped every family in need. More than 600,000 students will qualify for the fall P-EBT program compared to the more than 900,000 who qualified in the spring.
Children are eligible for the fall 2020 P-EBT program if they meet these criteria:
- Received P-EBT benefits last school year (2019-2020); or have been Directly Certified for free meal benefits for the current school year (2020-2021); or attend a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) School for the current school year (2020-2021); and
- Their school district or charter school is approved to participate in the National School Lunch Program during the 2020 – 20201 school year; and,
- Their school district or charter school utilized virtual learning for all students for at least five consecutive school days between August 17th and September 30th.
FOR CLARITY PURPOSES: CURRITUCK COUNTY SCHOOLS ARE NOT CEP, HAS BEEN APPROVED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM AND WAS UTILIZING VIRTUAL LEARNING FOR ALL STUDENTS FOR AT LEAST 5 CONSECUTIVE SCHOOL DAYS BETWEEN 8/17/20 - 9/30/20.
This is different than the eligibility criteria for P-EBT benefits in the spring 2020, which was available to all children who normally access free or reduced-priced meals, regardless of school closure circumstance. The new eligibility criteria are based on guidance from the USDA
Please feel free to review the following documents for further explanation: