TENNESSEE, USA — Saving families money this school year is the aim of the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program (P-EBT).
This federally-funded round of benefits is only for students who qualify for free lunch and were out sick because of COVID-19 (or because their school closed for at least five straight days). The P-EBT program aims to provide nutritional assistance and replace school meals that are missed due to COVID-19-related events.
Parents do not need to submit an application for this program. Eligible students were automatically enrolled in it, and each child should get about $7 for each COVID-related absence.
Money will be added to kids who have an active P-EBT card.
The P-EBT program was made possible by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Similar to a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) EBT or debit card, P-EBT cards can be used to buy food at participating grocery stores, authorized retailers and online retailers that already accept SNAP, according to the Department of Human Services (TDHS).
In the state of Tennessee, TDHS makes decisions with the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) to operate the P-EBT program according to federal approval, guidelines and timelines.
Each Tennessee school and each school district provides these organizations with a list of students that are eligible to receive P-EBT cards. TDHS urges parents to contact their children's schools for more information on eligibility.