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Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer program benefits will end after this summer

Jul 14, 2023

Starting on July 22, the Virginia Department of Social Services will issue Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) program benefits of $120 to households with eligible children in grades K-12.

P-EBT is a federal program created in spring 2020 to supplement school meals that students missed while schools were closed or placed on part-time attendance schedules due to COVID-19.

School-age children are eligible for P-EBT if they attended a school that participated in a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) or the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) during school year 2022-2023. Children are also eligible if they were approved for free or reduced-price meals during the 2022-2023 school year or are determined newly eligible for free or reduced-price meals.

This is the last summer that the government will issue P-EBT benefits due to the ending of the federal public health emergency on May 11, 2023.

The state cannot issue P-EBT benefits to children who did not attend an NSLP-participating school by the end of the 2022-2023 school year. p

Households that do not have an existing P-EBT or SNAP EBT card will have a card mailed to the address provided by their school within 3 weeks of benefit issuance. Households that have lost or discarded their previously issued P-EBT or EBT cards, or are in need of updating their address, should contact the P-EBT Call Center at 866-513-1414 or 804-294-1633 Monday - Friday from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Households in need of additional food resources may be eligible for assistance through the following community-based resources:

Joyce Chu, an award-winning investigative journalist, is the Social Justice Watchdog Reporter for The Progress Index. Contact her with comments, concerns, or story-tips at [email protected] or on Twitter @joyce_speaks.