The state of Texas be receiving an additional round of federal funding, this time for food stamps for families whose children didn’t receive free or reduced-priced school meals that they normally would have received when schools were closed and students were participating in virtual learning programs at home.
The federal Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) food benefits cover the 2020-2021 school year, which is nearly over or is already over for some school districts.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is issuing funds retroactively to parents. Families who qualify for the school lunch program will receive up to $1,200 per child.
The amount of money each family receives is based on the school their child/children attend, and is determined by the number of days that most students at their school received remote instruction during the 2020-2021 school year.
The $1,200 P-EBT money can be used in the same way as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits to pay for groceries.
The administration of P-EBT is overseen by federal and state agencies including the Texas Department of Agriculture and Texas Education Agency.
Gov. Greg Abbott praised the U.S. Department of Agriculture for approving the second round of federal subsidies, saying, they will “continue to help Texans provide food for their families.”
The first round, distributed last summer while children were not in school, distributed more than $1 billion to the parents of more than 3 million children.
This second round of $2.5 billion will go to parents of approximately 3.7 million eligible children in Texas.
Most families who already receive SNAP benefits will not need to apply for the $1,200 payments per child. They will automatically receive P-EBT benefits on their Lone Star Card by May 28.
Those who do need to apply will be notified by their school district by June 2 and be given eligibility and application information. In order to receive the subsidy, each child must have a Social Security number or School Identification Number. Applications will be accepted between June 2 and Aug. 13. Newly approved applicants eligible for the payment will receive the money on a new P-EBT Card in the mail.
The Supplemental Nutrition program provides money to families that meet eligibility requirements to buy food. In Texas, SNAP benefits are put onto the Lone Star Card (EBT card), which is used like a credit card at any store that accepts SNAP. The Texas Department of Health and Human Services administers the federal program throughout the state.
The federally funded School Meal Programs include the School Breakfast Program and National School Lunch Program and provide over 5 million meals a day to Texas children in residential childcare institutions, and in public and non-profit private schools in Texas. The program is administered by the Texas Department of Agriculture.
This article was originally posted on Feds to send $2.5 billion in food stamps to Texas families, up to $1,200 per child