The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) is taking steps to ensure parents are able to receive a program designed to help them feed their children during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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P-EBT provides parents with $5.70 in food benefits per child for each day that child qualifies. To be eligible, children must receive free or reduced meals at school or attend a Community Eligibility Provision school. The program is designed to replace meals lost during the months of March, April, and May due to COVID-19 school closures.
Families who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) do not need to apply as P-EBT benefits have automatically been applied to their existing EBT cards.
Families who do not currently receive SNAP or TANF need to apply and will receive a P-EBT card in the mail after approval that can be used to purchase food at any establishment that accepts EBT or online with Amazon and Walmart. Approval times can be delayed by inaccurate or incomplete information on the application so families are encouraged to double check all names and addresses to make sure they match what their children’s schools will have on file.
This coming week more than 70,000 children will be approved for P-EBT and if a family’s case is pending, they’re encouraged to recheck the status of their case online in the coming days. As of today, benefits have either been mailed or applied to existing EBT cards to serve roughly 380,000 children across Tennessee.
“The P-EBT program is providing important support parents need to feed their children during this unprecedented time,” said TDHS Commissioner Danielle W. Barnes.
“We extended the application deadline a second time to ensure every family who qualifies for these benefits is aware of the opportunity and has plenty of time to apply. Providing parents and children with the resourcesthey need now will help build a thriving Tennessee when the COVID-19 pandemic ends.” Individuals who need assistance completing their P-EBT application or have general questions about the program are encouraged to call the TDHS hotline at 1-833-496-0661.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act authorized the U.S. Department of Agriculture to approve states for Pandemic EBT (P-EBT). Approved state agencies may operate P-EBT when a school is closed for at least five consecutive days during a public health emergency designation when the school would otherwise be in session. Tennessee is among the more than 40 states that have received P-EBT approval.