P-EBT $375 Benefits NYC Public School Families Will Receive This Summer
This summer all families of New York City public school students will receive $375 per child in P-EBT food benefits under a federal COVID-19 relief program to help cover meal costs from last year, whether they attended summer school or not. The money will be given regardless of income.
New York State’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, or OTDA, is continuing to distribute the Coronavirus Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (or P-EBT for short), to all households with eligible children who receive free school lunch under the National School Lunch Act. Since New York City is a universal free lunch district, all public school students are eligible to receive the benefit. The state began distributing the benefits earlier this month.
The P-EBT program was created to help families pay for meals during remote learning while schools were closed due to the pandemic.
Families do not—and can not—apply for the P-EBT food benefits. The benefits of $375 per child will automatically be issued to eligible children. Recipient households should receive a text message alert when their food benefits are distributed. Families can check connectebt.com to see if their summer benefit was deposited.
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.
Free Summer Meals
In related news, the DOE announced its Summer Meals program will start June 28 and run through Sept. 2. The program is available throughout the city to anyone ages 18 years and younger. Designated public schools, community pool centers, parks, and food trucks will be open for service. No registration, documentation, or ID is necessary to receive a free breakfast or lunch meal.
The meals will include a variety of fresh fruit, whole grains, vegetables and salads.
“Breakfast and lunch meals reflect the NYC Department of Education’s commitment to the highest standard of nutrition,” the DOE states on its website. “Our meals meet or exceed U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) standards and do not use food additives such as artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.”
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.
Find 2022 Summer Meals locations at schools.nyc.gov/summermeals.