The federal Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has recently provided States with guidance to continue giving Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) benefits for October 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021.
A student is eligible for P-EBT if
- The student would be eligible for free or reduced-price meals if the National School Lunch and Breakfast programs were operating normally, AND IF
- The student does not receive free or reduced-price meals at the school because the school is closed or has been operating with reduced attendance or hours for at least 5 consecutive days in the current school year.
"Operating with reduced attendance or hours" is new. This would apply to schools with a hybrid schedule where students attend some days in person and others virtually for at least 5 consecutive days. The benefit amount is $5.86 per day.
Families do not have to apply for this benefit. The Department of Human Services (DHS) will be working with the RI Department of Education (RIDE) to receive student information from the schools. Benefits will either be placed on the student's current P-EBT card or SNAP EBT card. If a student is newly eligible and is not receiving SNAP benefits, a P-EBT card will be mailed to the student at the address on file with the school.
DHS must receive approval from FNS before issuing benefits. Once approved, benefits will be issued back to October 1 and DHS will share the dates that benefits will be given at that time. That information and more will be shared widely, including on the SNAP Customer Resources page (link below) and social media.