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Deadline extended for food benefits for families affected by COVID-19 school closures

AUSTIN — Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission extended the application deadline for the federal Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfer program (P-EBT) to July 31.

P-EBT is a one-time benefit of $285 per eligible child and can be used in the same way as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits to pay for groceries.

Eligible families include those with children who lost access to free or reduced-price school meals through the National School Lunch Program due to school closures.

“The extension of the P-EBT deadline helps ensure that Texans have time to apply for this program and provide nutritious food to their families as the state continues to combat COVID-19,” Abbott said. “Ensuring access to healthy food in our communities is an important part of our response to this pandemic.”

More than 3 million children in Texas were certified to receive free or reduced-price meals at school during the 2019-2020 school year.

Families who are eligible for P-EBT were notified by their school districts in May. After completing the online application, families receive their benefits on a new Texas P-EBT card in the mail.

To date, nearly $700 million in P-EBT has been issued to families, benefiting more than 2.5 million children.

Visit hhs.texas.gov/pebt to learn more about P-EBT. For questions regarding eligibility or to learn more, contact the P-EBT Call Center at 833-613-6220 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

When applying, it is especially important to include a valid phone number on their application. HHSC staff may need to call families to get additional information to approve P-EBT benefits.