Some Delaware families to receive extra food benefits

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NEW CASTLE — Delaware families receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits will get additional food assistance through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program for children younger than 6 who live in SNAP households.

The federal P-EBT program was established in March 2020 to provide food dollars to families to make up for meals missed on days when schools were closed or operated with reduced in-person attendance due to COVID-19. Federal legislation signed in December 2020 expanded P-EBT benefits to eligible SNAP households with children younger than 6, effective retroactively dating back to October.

The first round of benefits covering the 2020-2021 school year will be issued Thursday. A child younger than 6 is eligible for P-EBT benefits if the child lives in a household that received SNAP food benefits at any time since Oct. 1 and lives in an area where one or more schools are closed or are operating with reduced attendance or hours because of COVID-19.

For each child younger than 6, the SNAP household will receive $6.82 per day multiplied by the average number of remote school days per month reported for the public schools located in the county where the household lives. The P-EBT benefit amount equals the federal reimbursement rate for breakfast, lunch and a snack per child per school day.

Households will only receive P-EBT benefits for children younger than 6 for the months that the household received SNAP food benefits during the P-EBT period. Additionally, individuals should note the average number of remote school days per month can change, so P-EBT benefit amounts may change each month.

Benefits stretching back to Oct. 1 will be issued on Thursday and May 20, June 3, June 24 and July 8. Eligible SNAP households will receive written notification in the mail regarding P-EBT benefits. They do not need to take any action to receive P-EBT benefits.

SNAP households will get P-EBT benefits on their existing SNAP EBT cards and can use the benefits just like regular SNAP to buy eligible food items at stores and farmer’s markets that accept SNAP EBT. Households will receive monthly P-EBT benefits for all children in their home who are younger than 6.

The state estimates that it will issue $2.1 million in P-EBT benefits per month to approximately 17,770 children younger than 6 in SNAP households.

SNAP households that include school-age children who are eligible for P-EBT will continue to receive P-EBT benefits for those children on a separate date.

More information about the program can be found here.