Mary Alice Reporting – Food assistance is available for children during the summer who receive free or reduced meals at school.

The Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) is intended for all school children who are eligible to receive the established free or reduced lunch program in their district.

Tuscarawas County Job and Family Services Director David Haverfield says that some households may have already received the first round of benefits at the end of June.

“The federal government will be issuing two separate SNAP benefits for each child so it’s a total of $390.50 coming out in two installments. The second one of $198.80 will come out at the end of July.”

For the summer food cards, a guardian who already possesses a food assistance card will see that amount added automatically and for a child not currently on a food program, a pre-loaded P-EBT card in the child’s name will be mailed to the youth’s last known address.

Haverfield adds that the federal government did expand their free breakfast and lunch program into the upcoming school year that includes all students; however, for any eligible child, parents are still asked to submit an application.

“We have really no idea when the free lunches for everybody is going to end. The federal government could do that at any point and when they do, of you qualify for a free or reduced lunch, you want to be ready to have that continue seamlessly for us so we definitely encourage that.”

The applications can be picked up and filled out through individual school districts.

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