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Deadline extended for Tennessee's Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program to help families during pandemic

Families who receive free or reduced meals at school may receive financial assistance to replace school meals.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — UPDATE - 7/13/2020 - Tennessee Department for Human Services has extended the deadline for families to apply for COVID-19 food assistance.

The program is aimed at helping families during the ongoing pandemic.

The new deadline to apply for the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program has been extended to July 27.

Families can apply HERE.

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UPDATE - 6/30/2020 - Tennessee Department for Human Services has extended the deadline for families to apply for COVID-19 food assistance.

The program is aimed at helping families during the ongoing pandemic.

The new deadline to apply for the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program has been extended to Monday, July 13 at 5:30 P.M. Eastern Time .

Families can apply HERE.

“Under the new P-EBT program, families of children who receive free or reduced meals at school or attend a Community Eligibility Provision school may receive financial assistance to replace school meals during the months of March, April and May due to COVID-19 school closures. The program will provide parents with $5.70 per child for each day that child qualifies for P-EBT.”

TDHS - Things to know:

  • Parents who already receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits currently, do not need to apply. The funds began arriving on the EBT card of current recipients, if eligible, beginning June 12.
  • Parents who do not receive SNAP or TANF benefits, but whose children do qualify for free or reduced school meals, will need to apply for P- EBT online beginning June 15. The application period has been extended to July 13, 2020 at 4:30 pm.
  • Individuals who need assistance completing their P-EBT application or have general questions about the program are encouraged to call the TDHS hotline at 1-833-496-0661 and select option 3.

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6/15/2020 - Monday, the Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) and the Tennessee Department of Education (TDE) announced that there will be financial assistance available for Tennessee families that qualify for free or reduced school lunches to meet the nutritional needs of their children. The assistance will come from the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program.

“Families across our state depend on the meals their children receive at school and many were not prepared to immediately replace those meals when schools shut down for COVID-19,” said TDHS Commissioner Danielle W. Barnes. “The P-EBT program brings economic support to ensure children receive the nutrition they need. Helping families through this emergency is how we continue building a thriving Tennessee.”

Parents who already receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits currently, do not need to apply. The funds began arriving on the EBT card they already use beginning June 12.

Parents who do not receive SNAP benefits, but whose children do qualify for free or reduced school meals, will need to apply for PEBT online with the Tennessee Department of Human Resources beginning June 15. The application period will end June 29, 2020.

“During the COVID-19 school closures, we saw an incredible, herculean effort to keep providing meal services to students and families,” said TDOE Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “This additional relief from P-EBT will be helpful during this time of uncertainty for families and it is important to make sure every eligible family knows about the program.”

Throughout the COVID-19 school closures, many districts and schools across Tennessee used innovative ways to continue delivering meals to students and families, such as “grab and go” options, drive-throughs, or bus delivery, and on average provided 1.5 million meals a week to families regardless of a student’s enrollment.

Many emergency sites are continuing to provide student meals and receiving these meals does not disqualify a family from the P-EBT program.

Learn more about the Tennessee Department of Human Services at www.tn.gov/humanservices.