Update: P-EBT Benefits NYC Public School Families (eligible children who receive free school lunch under the National School Lunch Act)

Update: P-EBT Benefits NYC Public School Families (eligible children who receive free school lunch under the National School Lunch Act)
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Update: P-EBT Benefits NYC Public School Families

While many Covid relief has ended New York State continues to distribute Pandemic EBT food benefits to all households with eligible children who receive free school lunch under the National School Lunch Act. Here are important updates to the distribution as of Saturday, May 6, 2023:

  • OTDA has begun to issue P-EBT food benefits for the 2021-22 school year and Summer 2022. Many eligible children will receive benefits automatically over the next 3-4 weeks.
  • For families who need to apply for P-EBT food benefits, an online application will be available on May 15, 2023.
  • Benefits will continue to be issued until September 30, 2023.
  • You can check your family’s P-EBT food benefit transaction history by visiting www.connectebt.com or by calling 1-888-328-6399.
  • All 2020-21 P-EBT food benefits have been issued to all eligible children

Past benefits were last distributed last summer to all families of New York City public school students received- $375 per child in P-EBT food benefits under a federal COVID-19- whether they attended summer school or not. We are currently seeking a dollar amount for this round of benefits and will update when we have more news on amount distribution.

The P-EBT program was created to help families pay for meals during remote learning while schools were closed due to the pandemic.

How to Receive P-EBT Food Benefits in New York 

Parents of children who were absent due to COVID-19 and did not automatically receive a 2021-22 school year payment must apply for this next round of P-EBT food benefits. (NOTE: Benefit eligibility and how much money a family will receive takes into account how many days a child was absent from school. Check otda.ny.gov for more information on this.)

Parents must first submit a NYS P-EBT Food Benefit application, which will be available on this website starting May 15, 2023. Applications will be accepted through Aug. 15, 2023. 

After you apply, OTDA will contact you by email to let you know the status of your application. Parents whose children are determined eligible will be issued benefits on a rolling basis beginning May 15 through Sept. 30, 2023. 

Children currently receiving SNAP or Temporary Assistance will have their P-EBT food benefits issued to their household’s EBT card. Children who successfully accessed their food benefits for the 2019-20 and/or 2020-21 school years on a P-EBT Food Benefit card will receive their benefits on the same card. 

All other eligible children will be mailed a P-EBT Food Benefit card with instructions explaining how to activate the card and access the food benefits.

Call the P-EBT Helpline at 833-452-0056 if you have questions about eligibility or anything related to the application process.

fruits and vegetables can be purchased with an P-EBT card
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P-EBT Food Benefits: What You Can Buy

Although P-EBT food benefits are not Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, they can only be used to purchase the same food items that are covered under SNAP. According to the USDA, the benefits can be used to buy food for the entire household, such as:

• Fruits and vegetables
• Meat, poultry, and fish
• Dairy products
• Breads and cereals
• Snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages
• Seeds and plants that produce food for the household to eat

Families can not use the benefits to buy items such as beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, vitamins, medicines, foods that are hot at the point of sale and nonfood items like pet food, cleaning supplies, paper products, hygiene items and cosmetics.

The benefits do not have to be used right away. They will be available for at least 274 days from the date they were issued.
“As we head into summer and the hungriest time of year for many NY students, P-EBT has helped families meet nutritional needs with vital flexibility,” No Kid Hungry New York, an advocacy group that works to end childhood hunger, stated on Twitter.

Psst..the NYC School Calendar 2022-2023: NYC DOE Calendar is now out!

Lost P-EBT Cards

According to New York State SNAP COVID-19 Information:

You can order a replacement P-EBT Food Benefit card by calling 1-888-328-6399. Please be prepared to provide security information, including the 19-digit card number that was printed on the front of the P-EBT Food Benefit card you are replacing.

If you do not have that number, you will be asked for the cardholder’s Social Security number; however, when ordering a replacement P-EBT Food Benefit card (and only when ordering a P-EBT Food Benefit card), you must enter 999-99 and then the 2-digit month and 2-digit day (MM/DD) of the cardholder’s birthday.
For example, if your child’s date of birth is July 4, you would enter 999-99-0704 when asked for the child’s Social Security number.

Updated 5/6/2023

PsstThe Gilder Center at the American Museum of Natural History: A Parents Guide to exploring this Now Open Center