NC approved for additional food benefits for children impacted by COVID-19

NC approved for additional food benefits for children impacted by COVID-19

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina is one of the first four states to receive federal approval from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the new Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program, Gov. Roy Cooper announced Monday.

Officials with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) said the program will provide help for the families of the more than 800,000 children who normally receive free and reduced lunch at school.

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The program provides a benefit on an EBT card to families with eligible children. Families will receive $250 in P-EBT benefits per child, provided in two installments, with the possibility of an additional benefit if schools are closed beyond May 15.

Families will be able to use the P-EBT benefit to purchase food items at EBT authorized retailers, including most major grocery stores.

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Families will not need to apply for the P-EBT program. P-EBT eligible families already receiving Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) benefits will receive an additional benefit on their existing EBT card.

The NCDHHS is working to have the program operating in the coming weeks.

P-EBT eligible families not already enrolled in FNS will be mailed a new EBT card in the next few weeks. Families who receive a new EBT card will receive a letter from DHHS in the mail explaining how to activate and use their card.

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The new P-EBT program is in addition to other services families may be participating in.

As announced previously on March 30, all families that receive FNS will receive the maximum amount allowed for March and April for their household size.

Families are encouraged to continue utilizing feeding programs at local school and community meal sites for free, nutritious meals for children.