Department of Social Services Announces $ 224 Million in Food Aid for Families with Young Children
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – Today, Acting Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Meg Snead announced the start of the distribution of $ 224 million in federally funded food assistance to low-income families in Pennsylvania d ” approximately 223,000 young children under the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) program. . The P-EBT is designed to help eligible families meet the cost of breakfasts and lunches their children would otherwise have received in daycares or schools closed temporarily or permanently due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The P-EBT program has been a lifeline for Pennsylvania families with children, many of whom have struggled to meet the unexpected costs of breakfasts and lunches normally provided to their children at school or daycare. “Acting Secretary Snead said. “I hope these benefits are a useful boost for families with young children who, like all Pennsylvanians, are emerging from an unprecedented crisis.”
“Food is an essential element that fuels the growth and development of a child,” Education Secretary Noe Ortega said. “The P-EBT program is filling the gaps and removing the barriers created by the pandemic to help prevent hunger and ensure that children continue to have access to meals.”
In late April, DHS received approval from the Food and Nutrition Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to extend eligibility for P-EBT benefits to families with children aged 5 and under who received benefits. of the Supplementary Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) between October 1. , 2020 and May 31, 2021. Families with young children are eligible for P-EBT benefits if:
- The child is an eligible member of a household that received SNAP benefits
- The child is 5 years of age or younger and
- At least one school in the county where the family resides or any contiguous county is determined to operate on a virtual schedule, where children complete all of their learning through online learning, or on a blended schedule, where students attend some days in person and some days virtually.
The amount of the benefit varies depending on the county of residence and is issued for the period the family was enrolled in the SNAP program. Children residing in counties or neighboring a county where schools are operating at virtually 100 percent will receive 100 percent of the benefits, while children in counties operating in a hybrid format will receive 65 percent of the benefit level. These levels will be reassessed throughout the summer. Full P-EBT benefits are equal to $ 6.82 per day the child is eligible for P-EBT – $ 2.26 for breakfast, $ 0.96 for a snack, and $ 3.60 for the lunch.
Pennsylvania will distribute benefits to eligible families with young children in three phases, as follows:
- The first set of benefits is being distributed now.
- The second tranche of benefits will be distributed at the end of June or the beginning of July.
- The third tranche of benefits will be distributed in mid-August.
No application is necessary to receive the allowance, and the allowance will be received on the household’s usual EBT card. All eligible families will also receive a letter directly from DHS.
Additionally, in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), the distribution of over $ 1 billion in P-EBT benefits to eligible families of nearly 1 million school-aged children is currently underway. , and to all families of eligible school-aged children. should receive their P-EBT benefits on their regular EBT cards or on cards mailed to them by June 30. If a child qualifies for the P-EBT programs for school-aged and child-care-age children, the child will receive a benefit through the P-EBT program for school-aged children.
For more information on food aid resources for people around Pennsylvania affected by COVID-19 and the economic insecurity that accompanies it, visit the Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Guide.
For more information on the assistance programs available to help Pennsylvanians, visit www.dhs.pa.gov.
Erin James, DHS, firstname.lastname@example.org
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