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Ask 2: My kids receive free lunch at school, will they be eligible if they stay home?

USDA proposes changes to school lunch program requirements
USDA proposes changes to school lunch program requirements

At KPRC 2, we’re dedicated to keeping Houstonians informed. As part of our new Ask 2 series, the newsroom will answer your questions about all things Houston.

The question: My kids receive free lunch at school, will they be eligible for P-EBT if they stay home?

The answer: Yes. The Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer, or P-EBT, provides temporary benefits to families with children who rely most on free lunch at school since they were shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Texas Health and Human Services website.

The P-EBT card works the same way as receiving SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), and will help families get the food they need during the pandemic.

If your child receives free or reduced lunch at school, then your family is eligible for the benefits. You do not need to be a SNAP recipient to become eligible.

To be eligible, your child must be attending a Texas school and must receive free or reduced lunch from their school’s National School Lunch Program. Children who are under 5 years old and between 18-21 years old as of May 2020 are also eligible if they attend a Texas school and are certified to receive free or reduced lunch.

Texas HHS will verify each child before awarding the benefits. After verification, you will receive your benefits card in 10 days.

Students can continue to receive free curbside meals from their school even if they are eligible for P-EBT.

The deadline to apply for P-EBT is July 31.

For FAQs and to learn more about P-EBT, click here.

To apply for P-EBT, click here.

Do you have a burning H-Town-related question? Send it our way, and we will try to hunt down an answer.

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