THHSC extends deadline for pandemic food benefits for families affected by COVID-19 school closures

THHSC extends deadline for pandemic food benefits for families affected by COVID-19 school closures
Texas Health and Human Services (Source: Texas Health and Human Services)

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is extending the application deadline for the federal Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfer program (P-EBT) to July 31.

Governor Greg Abbott made the announcement, Monday morning. P-EBT is a benefit for assisting families “who lost access to free or reduced-price school meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) due to school closures.”

The program ensures $285 per eligible child for families, and can be used in a similar way to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits are used to pay for groceries.

Governor Abbott says extending the deadline will help ensure eligible families have time to apply for this one-time food benefit.

"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," said Governor Abbott. "Ensuring access to healthy food in our communities is an important part of our response to this pandemic."

“We remain committed to ensuring access to healthy and nutritious foods for eligible Texans, and P-EBT provides that to those who need it most,” said HHS Access and Eligibility Deputy Executive Commissioner Wayne Salter. “This extension provides more time for families to apply for this emergency assistance.”

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.

According to the Governor’s release, more than three million children in Texas were certified to receive free or reduced-price meals at school during the 2019-2020 school year.

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.

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

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