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Ohio's Pandemic EBT Program Approved by the Federal Government

Updated: May 28, 2020

The USDA has approved Ohio’s plan to opt into the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program which will help those who have gone without meals due to school being closed.

The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program (P-EBT) was passed by Congress to provide temporary food resources (SNAP) for all families with children who receive free or reduced lunch.

A few key facts about the program include:

1. Families receive an EBT card with the value of breakfast and lunch for the days that school was closed.

2. Families do not need to apply directly for the benefit; others can apply on their behalf.

3. Families can receive the EBT card via mail.

4. Families can receive benefits backdated to the first day of school closure due to the pandemic.

The approval allows the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to distribute SNAP benefits to approximately 850,000 students. Here is how distribution will work: if the family already receives SNAP, the PEBT benefit will go to the name on the SNAP card. If the family does not have SNAP, the benefit will go to whoever applied for free and reduced lunch.

Families with children who relied on free or reduced school meals will receive around $300 in SNAP benefits to purchase healthy foods, according to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.

The first payment will be backdated to when children were dismissed from school, so families should expect more than $300 the first time around and they will cover families through the month of June.


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