P-EBT Food Benefits

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    What are P-EBT Food Benefits?

    All JPS families may soon receive Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) food benefits for children who would have received free meals at school during the 2020-21 school year. P-EBT food benefits are issued by the NYS Office of Temporary Disability Assistance (OTDA), under authorization by the federal government. These temporary food benefits are provided to help cover the cost of meals children may not have received at school due to a reduction in in-person learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    P-EBT food benefits are not SNAP benefits. They can only be used to purchase the same food items that can be purchased with SNAP benefits. A list of food items that may be purchased with food benefits can be found at http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/eligible-food-items.

    Who may receive P-EBT Food Benefits?

    P-EBT food benefits are issued to children who would have received free meals at school during the 2020-21 school year. Because all Jamestown schools participate in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), all families with children who were enrolled in a district school last year are eligible to receive P-EBT food benefits, regardless of family income. 

    When may I receive P-EBT Food Benefits?

    The distribution schedule for P-EBT food benefits is determined by the OTDA. P-EBT food benefits will be issued by the OTDA after they process the student enrollment and attendance information that has been provided by each school to the New York State Education Department. You can check the status of payments issued for your child’s school in the NYS P-EBT School Listing at otda.ny.gov/nys-schools.

    As of September 3, all Jamestown schools are listed as “Issuing” meaning NYS is in the process of issuing benefits to eligible children. It may take several weeks for P-EBT benefits to be issued. We anticipate that P-EBT benefits will be issued to JPS families by late September or early October.

    How much will my child receive in P-EBT Food Benefits?

    Eligible children will receive P-EBT food benefits based on the number of days their school was closed or reduced in-person instructional time due to COVID-19. Children whose schools reduced in-person instruction by 1 to 12 days during a month will receive $82 in P-EBT food benefits for that month. Children whose schools reduced in-person instruction for more than 12 days during a month will receive $132 in P-EBT food benefits for that month. The actual P-EBT food benefit amount that each child receives may vary according to the in-person attendance information provided by the child’s school to the New York State Education Department.

    How may I receive P-EBT Food Benefits?

    All JPS families with children who were enrolled in a district school last year are eligible to receive P-EBT food benefits, regardless of family income. Families do not have to apply to receive P-EBT food benefits. For families that already receive SNAP or Medicaid, the P-EBT food benefit will be automatically added to their benefit cards. For families who received P-EBT food benefit cards last year during the first round of federal food relief, this year’s benefit will be added to the same card. All others will receive a new benefit card in the mail. To order a replacement card, call 1-888-328-6399.

    Where can I find more information about P-EBT Food Benefits?

    For more information, please visit https://otda.ny.gov/SNAP-COVID-19. This site also includes a list of Frequently Asked Questions.