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Looming deadline for families to take advantage of food benefit

Looming deadline for families to take advantage of food benefit

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Looming deadline for families to take advantage of food benefit



Dateline: [St. Louis, MO June 2020] — Forty percent of eligible families are missing out on a one-time payment of $250-$300 per child for food.  Until July 7th, the States of Missouri and Illinois are offering P-EBT, Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) to help cover food costs for children who qualify for free or reduced lunch at school but are not in school due to the pandemic.


The following are frequently asked questions.


Who is Eligible? You may be able to get P-EBT benefits if you have a child or children in grades Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 who would have received free or reduced price meals at school if schools were still open. You may also qualify based off your income. For example, if your child was not previously getting free or reduced-price meals but you have lost income, you may be able to get P-EBT benefits.


Already receiving SNAP Benefits? If you currently receive food stamps, $302 per child will automatically be loaded onto your EBT card. Do NOT fill out the application.


But My Family is Not Receiving SNAP Benefits Is This Benefit Based on Household Income/Resources/Citizenship? No, the only eligibility factor is that your child(ren) attend a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program and are eligible to receive free or reduced-priced meals when they are in school. For many schools, individual students qualify for free or reduced-price eligible meals. For other schools that participate in the in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), all enrolled students will qualify as meals are provided at no cost to the students. If you recently applied for free or reduced-price meals, P-EBT benefits will begin the month you become eligible.


How Much Will My Family Receive? The amount of your P-EBT benefits will depend on your eligibility for those months.

·       In Missouri, the maximum amount is $302 per eligible child, which includes: March - $57, April - $125, May - $120.

·       In Illinois, the State will calculate the amount on the card as $5.70 per day multiplied by the number of days the school was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The total amount should be approximately $250-300 for each child.


How Do I Apply for P-EBT?

The most efficient method is to complete the online application. If you apply online and include your Social Security Number (if you have one), it may help expedite the processing of your application for benefits.

·       Missouri:

·       Illinois:


OR scan your completed and signed application, then email it.

·       Missouri:

·       Illinois:


OR Mail your completed paper application.

·       Missouri: DESE Food and Nutrition Services 205 Jefferson Street P.O. Box 480 Jefferson City, MO 65102

·       Illinois: Central Scan Unit, P.O. Box 19138, Springfield, IL 62763-9138


How Do I Get the Benefits? P-EBT benefits are loaded to an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. If you received Food Stamp (SNAP) benefits in March, P-EBT benefits will be automatically loaded to your EBT card. You will not need to call or apply to get P-EBT.


If you did not receive Food Stamp (SNAP) benefits in March, you will need to apply for P-EBT. If you aren’t sure if you received SNAP benefits in March, you can check the status of your benefits:

·       Missouri:

·       Illinois:




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