August 31 is deadline to apply for Summer Pandemic EBT benefits

 Summer Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) benefits are rolling out this week to families with children who receive free or reduced-price school meals through the National School Lunch Program.

Qualifying households will receive $391 for each participating student to purchase SNAP-eligible food at stores that accept Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards. The benefits cover the summer months retroactively.

“Food security is a key ingredient in the recipe for a child’s success in the classroom and at home,” said Commissioner Nancy Buckner of the Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR).

Families who received P-EBT benefits during the 2021-22 school year can access the summer benefits on their existing EBT cards in the coming days. EBT cards will be delivered by mail within 20 days to those who are new to the National School Lunch Program.

The benefits expire nine months from their issue date. Recipients should keep their cards in case more benefits are added in the future.

Summer P-EBT benefits are limited to students who receive free or reduced-price meals from the National School Lunch Program by application or through either the Community Eligibility Provision or a Provision 2 school. Families with questions about eligibility should contact the schools their children attend.

To become eligible for Summer P-EBT, families may apply for the National School Lunch Program by contacting their local schools no later than Aug. 31.

Support specialists are available to answer questions about P-EBT by phone at 1-800-410-5827 and online at from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

DHR oversees the distribution of P-EBT benefits with assistance from the Alabama State Department of Education. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service administers the program at the federal level.

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