(NASHVILLE) The deadline to apply for food assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic period has been extended to August 14, 2020.
Applications will now be accepted online for the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program. This extension provides the Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) with more opportunity to continue outreach efforts with community organizations.
This month TDHS partnered with one organization to launch a statewide campaign to inform parents about P-EBT through radio ads. P-EBT provides parents with $5.70 in benefits per child for each day that child qualifies. These benefits can be used to purchase food at any establishment that accepts EBT or online with Amazon and Walmart. 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. “Hundreds of thousands of children currently have access to additional nutritional support through our P-EBT program and we want to make sure more families are aware of this opportunity,” said TDHS Commissioner Danielle W. Barnes.
“These families depend on the meals their children get at school and immediately faced an unexpected financial burden when those schools closed. By providing these families with the support they need now we are taking important steps to build a thriving Tennessee when the pandemic passes.”
TDHS initially launched P-EBT on June 12 by providing the benefits to qualifying families that take part in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. These families already have an existing EBT card and P-EBT benefits were automatically applied to those cards.
Families who do not currently receive SNAP or TANF need to apply for the program and will receive a P-EBT card in the mail after approval.
Approval times can be delayed by inaccurate or incomplete information on the application so families are encouraged to double check all names and Public Information and Legislative Office • James K. Polk Building • 505 Deaderick Street • Nashville, TN 37243 Tel: 615-313-4707 • tn.gov/humanservices addresses to make sure they match what their children’s schools will have on file.
Individuals who need assistance completing their P-EBT application or have general questions about the program are encouraged to call the TDHS Family Assistance Service Center at 1-866-311- 4287. Families can also download applications in Spanish, Somali, and Arabic languages to fill out and email to P-EBT.DHS@tn.gov.
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.
Learn more about the Tennessee Department of Human Services at www.tn.gov/humanservices.