Reminder: More Than 250,000 Students in County Eligible for Pandemic EBT Benefits

Families can receive up to $365 for groceries if the student is eligible for P-EBT


The San Diego Hunger Coalition is reminding residents that more than 250,000 students in the county are eligible for Pandemic EBT benefits to help them and their families buy groceries during these difficult times.

Students who received free or reduced-price lunch during school are eligible for a one-time payment of up to $365 in groceries, depending on how many eligible children are in the household, the county said. Those same students are also able to obtain grab-n-go meals that are being distributed by schools and community organizations.

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California launched the P-EBT program as a response to the heightened food insecurity among children due to the coronavirus pandemic. Those who receive the benefit will have a year from when they receive their P-EBT card to spend the funds.

The county states most families with children who are recipients of Medi-Cal, CalFresh or Foster Care benefits are not required to apply online for the P-EBT benefits since they were automatically enrolled in the program. Recipients were sent a P-EBT card through the mail that will need to be activated.

Meanwhile, families with children who receive free or reduced-price lunch but who don’t receive government assistance must apply online for P-EBT before July 15.

The original deadline was June 30, but the state extended the application deadline through mid-July.

P-EBT is not considered a public charge and will not affect immigration status, according to the San Diego Hunger Coalition.

For more information on commonly asked questions regarding P-EBT, click here.

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