When schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of thousands of Minnesota’s students lost access to school breakfast and lunch. For students who receive free & reduced-price school meals, this has been a big gap in their access to food.
The USDA recently approved the state of Minnesota’s application for Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) to help families replace the meals their children lost because schools are closed.
220,000 Minnesota students are eligible for P-EBT. Families with kids ages 5-18 as of Sept. 1, 2019, whose school closed due to COVID-19 and either:
· They were receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) benefits as of March 18, 2020; or
· Their child was receiving free or reduced-price school meals during the 2019-2020 school year; or
· Their child is enrolled in a school that offers free school meals to all students regardless of the family’s income.
Families will get a one-time $325 payment for every school-age child. Families on SNAP or MFIP have already received their payment on their EBT card. Families who don't get SNAP or MFIP but are eligible for free & reduced-price meals need to apply for P-EBT by June 30.
We have more info on our website about P-EBT including a printable flyer to share with clients (including flyers in Spanish, Somali, Hmong, and Karen). DHS also has information on P-EBT including a great FAQ.
The application is online-only, but Hunger Solutions can help households apply over-the-phone on the Minnesota Food HelpLine. Families can call Hunger Solutions at 888-711-1151 for help by phone. (Over-the-phone language interpreters are available)