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Published on Wednesday, March 08, 2023
P-EBT benefits to be issued for the 2022 - 2023 school year; expands pool of eligible students
CRANSTON, RI – The RI Department of Human Services (DHS) and the RI Department of Education (RIDE) have received USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) approval to issue Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) benefits to eligible children for the 2022-2023 academic year. RI is one of only twelve States with approval to implement the P-EBT program in the current school year. Beginning on March 7, 2023, P-EBT benefits will be issued through May 11, 2023, in alignment with federal changes to help provide healthy and nutritious meals to children who may have missed school meals due to COVID-19.
Pandemic EBT is a special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit intended to help children who – due to COVID —may have missed free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), which is also a basis for eligibility. Like last year, P-EBT eligible groups include school age children and children under age 6 receiving SNAP benefits. New this year, students in non-NSLP participating virtual schools and homeschooled children whose learning status is a result of concerns related to COVID may be eligible for P-EBT benefits. This group will need to complete an application and may need to submit income information for an eligibility determination.
“We have an opportunity to continue providing important relief to families and their children who may have missed school meals because of Covid,” said DHS Acting Director Kimberly Merolla-Brito. “Providing access to healthy and nutritious food through P-EBT will have a meaningful impact for Rhode Island children who rely on school meals for their nutritional needs and development.”
“Hunger does not take a break when a child is out of school,” said Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green. “Through P-EBT benefits, we can ensure Rhode Island children most in need have access to healthy, nutritious meals. We thank school leaders for assisting in getting the word out about this important program and encourage eligible families to apply. Together, we will fight hunger and help our children reach their fullest potential.”
P-EBT distribution methods vary between the different student groups. Families with eligible children do not have to take any action to receive these benefits unless they have children that are part of the newly eligible groups. Importantly, the daily rate of $8.18 per child for every school day missed due to Covid is consistent across all ages and groups. The benefit amount and eligibility for each group is determined using the following criteria:
School Age Children:
Children Under Age 6 receiving SNAP:
Children Homeschooled or in Non-NSLP Virtual School Due to Covid
Households can refer to the chart below for additional information on the distribution method and general timeline of the P-EBT issuance.
Benefit Issue Date for School Age Children
September 2022—November 2022
March 7, March 14, and March 22
SNAP EBT or P-EBT card
December 2022 – February 2023
TBD: in coordination with RIDE- targeted for March 29, April 5 and April 12
March 2023 – May 2023
TBD: In coordination with RIDE, beginning in April or May
SNAP EBT or P—EBT card
Benefit Issue Date for Children Under Age 6 Receiving SNAP
September 2022—January 2023
TBD/Around April 2023
SNAP EBT card
February 2023 – May 11, 2023
TBD/around July 2023
Benefit Issue Date for Eligible Children Homeschooled or in Non-NSLP School Due to COVID
September 2022—May 11, 2023
Dependent on application submission date and completeness of application. Applications due by July 31, 2023
Notices will be mailed to eligible families to notify them if they will receive P-EBT benefits for their child during the current school year. For families that received benefits on a P-EBT card the previous year, benefits will be issued on the same card. Children who did not receive P-EBT benefits last year and are eligible for the first time this year will have a P-EBT card – in the child’s name -- mailed to them at the address on file at their school. Children in SNAP households who are eligible for P-EBT benefits will have benefits issued to their household’s SNAP-EBT card.
Parents may receive more than one P-EBT card if there is more than one eligible school age child in their household. United Way’s 211 is available to answer general questions families may have about P-EBT benefits.
DHS will be submitting a plan for Summer P-EBT benefits to the Food and Nutrition Service and will announce the details of that plan at a later date. Per Federal guidelines, no P-EBT issuances can be made beyond September, 30, 2023.
More information about P-EBT for the current school year is available online in the FAQ here.