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Over 500,000 Massachusetts children to receive Pandemic EBT benefits this summer

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BOSTON – Today the Baker-Polito Administration announced that Massachusetts has received federal approval to continue providing Pandemic EBT food benefits to households through summer 2022. P-EBT is a child nutrition program created during the public health emergency to promote increased food security for students and children who missed school or could not attend childcare due to COVID-19.

Summer P-EBT benefits are estimated to provide continued food assistance for the families of approximately 400,000 school-age children, as well as 109,000 children under age six in households that receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. This additional support will bring $200 million of federal funds into the Commonwealth.

“Households with children have historically experienced higher food insecurity in the summer when kids are home from school.” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders. “Expanding P-EBT through August and continuing SNAP Emergency Allotments and increased WIC fruit and vegetable vouchers, in addition to our expansive Summer Eats meals sites, represents the Administration’s ongoing commitment to combating childhood hunger across the Commonwealth.”

“Over the past two plus years, P-EBT has been a critical tool in providing children and families with the financial power to buy food that meets their households’ cultural and nutritional needs. It also continues to play an important role as an economic stabilizer, providing an influx of federal dollars into the state’s economy, supporting our grocery stores, corner stores, local farms, and other food retailers.” said Department of Transitional Assistance Acting Commissioner Mary Sheehan. “DTA is pleased to provide these critical benefits again this summer in collaboration with DESE and local school districts.”

“We want students to continue to have access to healthy meals over the summer, so we’re pleased to see this additional support for children while school is out,” Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley said. “We hope families will also take advantage of Summer Eats, the summer meal program for young people that’s available in many areas of the Commonwealth.”

In Massachusetts, all eligible children will receive a total of $391 in P-EBT benefits in two equal payments of $195.50 this summer. K-12 students will start to receive P-EBT on July 3 and August 3. Families who receive SNAP and have a child under age six will start to receive P-EBT on July 25 and August 25.

K-12 students will be eligible for Summer P-EBT if they received P-EBT benefits in the past, meaning they are eligible to receive free or reduced-price school meals. Students newly eligible for free or reduced-price school meals during any point in school year 2021-2022 or during the summer, including through a School Year 2022-2023 meal household application, will also be eligible.

Families will continue to receive P-EBT on the same card they have in the past. Households who lost their P-EBT card can request a replacement card. More information on P-EBT can be found at MAp-EBT.org.

Summer P-EBT builds on other federal nutrition programs and resources available for families to buy food this summer, including:

Summer Eats: a program that provides free meals to all kids and teens at locations across Massachusetts during the summer months. No identification or registration required. Learn more and find a site near you at www.projectbread.org/summereats.

WIC: a nutrition program that provides healthy foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and referrals to healthcare and other services, free of charge, to Massachusetts families who qualify. Families are encouraged to check their eligibility and apply online at Mass.gov/WIC or call (800) 942-1007.

Increased fruit and vegetable benefits at WIC retail stores: the Massachusetts WIC food package continues to include expanded fruit and vegetable benefits: $24/month for children, $43/month for pregnant/postpartum participants and $47/month for breastfeeding participants.

Farmers’ Market Coupons: Similar to last summer, WIC farmers’ market coupons will remain at $30 per participant during the summer 2022 season for purchasing fruits and vegetables at participating farmers’ markets and farm stands. Participants can contact their local programs to learn when the coupons will be distributed.

SNAP Benefits: SNAP provides funds to buy food on an EBT card, similar to a debit card. Residents can check their SNAP eligibility and apply online at DTAConnect.com or on the DTA Assistance Line at (877) 382-2363.

Emergency Allotments: Massachusetts continues to provide SNAP emergency allotment payments that bring SNAP households’ benefits up to at least the maximum amount for their household size. They provide a minimum of $95, including for those who already receive the maximum benefit amount. These special payments bring $90 million of federal funds into the state each month.

HIP: The Healthy Incentives Program puts money back on someone’s EBT card when they use SNAP to buy healthy, local fruits and vegetables from HIP farm vendors. Learn more at Mass.gov/HIP. Find a vendor at DTAFinder.com.

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