By WECT Staff | May 13, 2020 at 12:16 PM EDT – Updated May 13 at 12:16 PM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Families impacted by school closings due to COVID-19 began receiving additional food benefits Wednesday as part of the new Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program.
“With school buildings closed, we need to make sure that children who get most of their meals at school have enough to eat,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. “This program provides families with extra help buying groceries and putting food on the table.”
The program provides a food benefit on an EBT card to North Carolina families whose children have access to free and reduced lunch at school. Families will receive about $370 in P-EBT benefits per child, provided over two installments.
Families can use the P-EBT benefit to purchase food items at EBT authorized retailers, including most major grocery stores.
Families will not need to apply for the P-EBT program.
P-EBT eligible families not already enrolled in Food and Nutrion Services (FNS) will be mailed a new EBT card in mid- to late May. Families who receive a new EBT card will receive a letter from NCDHHS in the mail explaining how to activate and use their card.
The new P-EBT program is in addition to other services families may be participating in.
All families that receive Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) have received the maximum amount allowed for March and April 2020 for their household size and will receive the maximum amount for May as well.
P-EBT benefits are entirely federally funded. North Carolina was the fourth state to receive federal approval to provide P-EBT benefits.
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