The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) recently granted Rhode Island approval to again issue Pandemic-EBT benefits (P-EBT) to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and non-SNAP households with one or more school-age children who have temporarily lost access to free or reduced-price meals at school due to COVID-19. Unlike this past Spring when every eligible child received the same amount each month because schools were closed for everyone, the September distribution will be unique to each individual child.
The P-EBT benefit will be $5.86 per day through September 30th and will be issued for the two weeks the public schools' reopening was delayed and for each day a child is learning virtually for at least five days in a row because the child's school reopened with only virtual learning, the household chose virtual learning, quarantine or the hybrid model of the child's school.
Therefore, it is possible a household could receive different amounts if there are multiple eligible school-age children based on the learning experience for that child.
Similar to the Spring issuance:
• If you are receiving SNAP benefits, your P-EBT benefits will be added to your current SNAP EBT card.
• If you are not receiving SNAP benefits and you received these benefits on a P-EBT card during the last school year (the spring), your benefits will be issued to that same card. If you no longer have that P-EBT card from the Spring, call 1-888-979-9939 to request a new card.
• If you have never received P-EBT benefits before and are not receiving SNAP benefits, you will be mailed a P-EBT card at the address on file with your child's school. The P-EBT card will be in the school-aged child's name, not the parent's name, and you may receive more than one card if you have multiple children eligible for this benefit.
A mailer in English, Spanish and Portuguese will be sent to all eligible families soon. They will also be posted on the Department's Facebook and Twitter pages.
The first issuance is occurring on or about Thursday, September 24th and it will cover the two week (nine day) period in which school was delayed. Approximately 73,000 children will receive this first $52.74.
There will be a second issuance to cover all other scenarios in which a child is learning virtually for at least five days in a row through September 30th. That will be distributed by September 30th, and the amounts will vary based on what the school/district reported to the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE).
Without Congressional action, P-EBT will not be available in October.