Special to Iredell Free News
RALEIGH — Eligible North Carolina children will receive additional benefits over the summer to ensure they have access to nutritious food. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services recently received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to continue the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer food assistance program through Summer 2022.
The extension of Summer P-EBT will provide approximately $303 million in food assistance benefits to approximately 975,000 North Carolina children.
“For some kids, summer vacation means wondering where their next meal will come from,” said NCDHHS Secretary Kody H. Kinsley. “Children need healthy food to grow and learn, and we will continue to do everything we can to support this effort as part of the NCDHHS priority to improve child and family well-being.”
Students who received free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program in May 2022 are among the groups eligible for the P-EBT program.
“Summer P-EBT benefits and the National School Lunch Program are such important ways we can continue our mission of supporting the growth and development of North Carolina’s students,” said Catherine Truitt, N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction. “We know that improving student performance and outcomes requires mobilization of student support services, and I’m thrilled that we are able to continue providing this assistance to children and their families.”
Families can access important P-EBT information and updates on the P-EBT website. Details on the benefit issuance schedule will be posted on the website and shared via social media, and the one-time benefit amounts will be added to the website once they are finalized by the USDA.
The eligibility and benefit amounts for Summer P-EBT for students and for young children differ.
Students who received free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program in May 2022 are automatically eligible for Summer P-EBT and will be issued a one-time payment in late July or early August. For families who receive Food and Nutrition Services benefits, these student benefits will be added to their existing FNS EBT card. If a student received P-EBT benefits during the 2021-2022 school year, the benefits will be added to their existing P-EBT card. If the student did not receive P-EBT this school year, a new card will be mailed.
To access Summer P-EBT benefits, a student who is not already approved for free or reduced-price meals needs to apply by Aug. 31, 2022. If approved for free or reduced-price meals, the student will be automatically eligible for Summer P-EBT. To apply, contact your student’s school or school district. Many have online applications.
Young children under age 6 receiving FNS benefits and Child Care P-EBT benefits for the 2021-2022 school year are automatically eligible for Summer P-EBT and will be issued a one-time payment in late July or early August. Young children’s benefits will be added to their household’s FNS EBT card.
To access Summer P-EBT benefits, families with children who were 5 years old or younger at the start of the 2021-2022 school year (Sept. 1, 2021) can submit an FNS application by Aug. 15, 2022. If approved for FNS, these children will also become eligible for Summer P-EBT and will receive those benefits in September or October.
For more information on P-EBT, visit www.ncdhhs.gov/PEBT.
North Carolinians interested in applying for FNS benefits may apply online HERE or through your local county department of social services.
P-EBT is a federally funded, temporary food assistance program that helps families during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Summer P-EBT is an extension of school year 2021-22 benefits. P-EBT is administered by the NC Department of Health and Human Services in partnership with the NC Department of Public Instruction.