While the COVID-19 pandemic is still considered a federal Public Health Emergency, some pandemic programs to help families access nourishing food have been reduced or eliminated. Last month, we told you about the big changes to free school meal eligibility. Now, there are some important changes to Pandemic EBT, or P-EBT, that parents of pre- school-aged children need to know about. 

P-EBT is money for children whose access to adequate and quality food may have been impacted by COVID-19. The amount that families receive is equal to the value of free school breakfasts and lunches that the child missed due to pandemic-related school or child care closures.

What’s changed?

Unlike previous school years during the pandemic, only families who received SNAP for all or part of last school year will receive P-EBT benefits. Additionally, this year’s program is limited to SNAP families with at least one child who was between the ages of 0 and 5 for at least one month from September 2021 through May 2022. In other words if you received SNAP benefits between September 2021 and May 2022 (the school year) and you also had a child aged 5 and under during at least one month of that time, you can receive P-EBT.

How will I receive Pandemic EBT Benefits?

Most eligible participants will receive the benefits automatically, and should not have to apply. If you receive SNAP benefits and have an eligible child, P-EBT benefits will be issued to your household’s existing EBT card in late Fall 2022. 

Children will receive $63 for each month they would have qualified for the benefit between September 2021 and May 2022. Households will receive the full P-EBT benefit that their children qualify for in one bulk payment, rather than having them paid out monthly.

If you believe that your child qualifies for the Pandemic EBT and they do not receive the benefits, or if your household is not currently receiving SNAP, you can contact the Oregon Department of Health Services (ODHS) by email at [email protected], or by phone, at 1-800-699-9075.

You can also learn more about P-EBT eligibility by visiting our page here or the ODHS page here.  

More Community Resources

Check out our informational one-pager, “Why Parents Should Fill Out the School Meals Family Income Form“, available in: VietnameseSpanishSimplified ChineseTraditional ChineseKoreanArabicJapaneseEnglish and Russian.