77ºF

Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program to provide $1 billion in food benefits to some Texas families

Families will receive $285 for each eligible child

Woman buying food at grocery store.
Woman buying food at grocery store. (Pexels)

SAN ANTONIO – The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) will provide money to eligible families with children that have temporarily lost access to free or reduced-price school meals, according to Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC).

The one-time benefit will be given to families with children “5-18 years old who received SNAP food benefits for the month of March 2020 and children up to 21 years old who are certified for free or reduced-price meals at school in Texas during the 2019-20 school year,” the HHSC website states.

Families will receive $285 for each eligible child but the disbursement dates vary. Funds will be loaded onto Lone Star Cards for current SNAP recipients and non-SNAP recipients will be mailed a P-EBT card. Families with multiple qualifying children will receive one card with the appropriate total amount.

Where students in San Antonio area can get free Wi-Fi amid coronavirus pandemic

According to THHS:

  • Families who received SNAP benefits for the month of March 2020 and have children 5-18 years old as of May 17, 2020, will get funds by May 22.
  • Other families will get P-EBT funds beginning in June. Applications will be processed after HHSC receives the list of children getting free or reduced-price meals.

The P-EBT cards will only allow the purchase of food items and can’t be used to purchase tobacco, alcohol or things you can’t eat or drink. These guidelines are the same as SNAP benefits.

Map: Where San Antonio-area students can find free school meals during closures

Even if a child’s school is providing meals, families who receive SNAP benefits are still eligible for P-EBT.

How to apply

The following information was taken directly from the HHSC website:

Families who received SNAP benefits for the month of March 2020 and have children 5-18 years old as of May 17, 2020, do not need to apply for those children. These families will receive P-EBT benefits on their current Lone Star Card by May 22.

Families with children up to 21 years old who are certified to receive free or reduced-price meals during the 2019-20 school year need to apply for P-EBT. (This includes families who received SNAP benefits for the month of March 2020 and have children under 5 and between 19 and 21.) Your school district will send you a link to an online application by the first week of June. Once HHSC receives the application and verifies your eligibility with the school list, you will receive a Texas P-EBT card in the mail that includes P-EBT funds.

For more answers to frequently asked questions regarding the P-EBT program, click here.


About the Author: