The U.S. Department of Agriculture has given approval on at least $1 billion that Texas can spend on pandemic-related aid — which is a saving grace for families who can’t get free school lunches amidst the lockdown.
These households will be able to access Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer, says Texas Health and Human Services Commission. It works akin to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and operates through using a plastic card.
According to THHS, the P-EBT program will be accessible for kids aged from 5 to 18 who got their SNAP benefits this March, as well as for the Texans up to 21 years old who were getting free or reduced-price meals in the state’s schools in 2019-2020.
But the application differs. Those who got SNAP in March will by proxy receive the P-EBT benefits by May 22nd. The second category of families, however, will need to register for P-EBT separately.
School districts are going to mail out application links by June. After the applicants’ legitimacy is verified, they will receive an envelope with a Texas P-EBT card with benefit funds ($285 for each kid).
This money must be spent within 12 months — any remaining sum will expire after that and a card will be terminated.