The Pandemic EBT Program Will Return
If you have not already done so for the 20/21 school year, please contact your child's school to complete a National School Lunch Program (NSLP) application in preparation for the reestablishment of Pandemic EBT.
Keep Your P-EBT Cards
If you participated in the Pandemic EBT program in 2020, please hold on to the EBT card provided to you. If the program is reestablished, you will be able to use the same EBT card to access benefits more quickly.
What is Pandemic EBT?
Pandemic EBT(P-EBT), as introduced in H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, provides assistance to households with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals, while schools are out of session due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Arizona P-EBT Pandemic School Meal Replacement Benefits program is a partnership between DES, the Arizona Department of Education, and the USDA Food and Nutrition Service.
How Does Pandemic EBT Work?
Eligible families will receive a pre-loaded Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card that can be used to purchase groceries. Households currently receiving Nutrition Assistance and/or Cash Assistance benefits will have this additional benefit added to their existing EBT cards. This benefit is available for every child in the household that is enrolled in the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act program in Arizona.
Benefit Amount for Each Child
- $69 for March
- $126 for April
- $120 for May
Note: Families who first start participating in the free and reduced-price school meal program after March 16 will receive Pandemic EBT benefits prorated to their start date, if their child is enrolled at a participating school.
View the flyer created by the Arizona Food Bank Network.
When Were P-EBT Benefits Issued?
DES began issuing P-EBT to SNAP households on April 23, and began distributing benefits to remaining families May 12 for March, April and May benefits.
Eligible Families Who Have Not Received Pandemic EBT
The Arizona Department of Education provided DES with a list of children currently enrolled in the free or reduced-price school meal program. However, some of the information provided was not complete, and P-EBT benefits could not be issued to these households.
The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has extended the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) through December 31, 2020. SFSP is a federally funded program administered by the Arizona Department of Education. Children 18 years and younger may receive free meals and snacks through SFSP. To find a location near you, text “Summer Meals” to 97779 or call 1-866-348-6479. You can also use the meal service location map at https://www.fns.usda.gov/sfsp/household.