The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for a third round of federal Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) food benefits.
"Thank you to HHSC and USDA for working together to ensure Texas families can continue to put food on the table," said Texas Governor Greg Abbott. "This third round of pandemic food benefits will help us continue to provide access to nutritious food for both families and their children."
These benefits are specifically for families with children who have temporarily lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to COVID-19.
Each family will be able to receive a one-time electronic money transfer of $375 per eligible child and can be used the same way as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits.
“As children across the state start going back to school, we’re thankful we can provide this added benefit so Texans can provide nutritious food for their families,” said Wayne Salter, HHS Deputy Executive Commissioner of Access and Eligibility Services.
The governor's office estimates that the $1.4 billion in benefits will help feed about 3.7 million children in Texas.
How does eligibility work?
- Children must be enrolled in a Texas school in grades K through 12 to be considered for eligibility
- Those certified for free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) are eligible
- Families with children born after Aug. 1, 2014 who receive SNAP food benefits are eligible
- Applicants must meet income eligibility guidelines for free or reduced-price school meals and report that to their school through a socioeconomic form or school meals application.
- Applicants who attend a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) or Provision 2 (P2) school where all students receive free meals are eligible
- Families who previously received the 2020-21 school year P-EBT benefits will automatically receive the summer P-EBT benefits without taking action
- Children born after August 1, 2014 who received SNAP food benefits at any time between June 2021 and August 2021 will automatically receive summer P-EBT benefits on their Lone Star Card without taking action.
So far, the HHSC has distributed approximately $4.7 billion in food benefits to Texas families through the P-EBT program.
Those with questions about the program can be directed towards hhs.texas.gov/pebt [lnks.gd] or the P-EBT Call Center at 833-442-1255.