DHS Approved to Issue Summer P-EBT Benefits to Eligible School-Age Children

Published on Tuesday, May 09, 2023

CRANSTON – The RI Department of Human Services (DHS) has received approval to issue Summer P-EBT benefits to eligible children this summer. With USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) approval of DHS’ Summer P-EBT plan, households will receive one lump sum issuance of $120 per eligible child for the months of July and August to help pay for nutritious meals when school is out of session. 

“There are many households that depend on school meals to provide a balanced and nutritious meal for their children every year. Summer P-EBT will help fill that gap for households when school ends and families need additional resources for food,” said DHS Acting Director Kimberly-Merolla Brito. “Any family that depends on Summer P-EBT should not hesitate to reach out to DHS to apply for, or learn, more about the SNAP program, which provides food assistance for families and children all-year long.”

"Hunger does not take a break during the summer and the P-EBT program will help families in need access nutritious food," said Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green from the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE). "We're proud to join DHS in this effort to make sure Rhode Island students can access healthy food that fuels their growth and development."

With the federal government ending the public health emergency on May 11, 2023, the eligibility criteria and disbursement amount for Summer P-EBT has been adjusted. For 2023, Summer P-EBT is only available for school-age children who received free or reduced priced meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) during the 2022-2023 academic year. Households will receive the lump sum $120 issuance in August 2023, which will be issued on the same P-EBT card previously used or on the household’s current EBT card if the school-age child is in a SNAP household. Newly eligible school-age children, who are not part of a SNAP household, will receive a P-EBT card in the mail.

Due to federal changes, children under age 6 in SNAP households are not eligible for Summer P-EBT benefits. SNAP households will receive a Summer P-EBT issuance for each school-age child in their household who also received free or reduced priced meals through NSLP.

RIDE provides DHS with data on students who are receiving free or reduced priced lunch through NSLP. As a result, no additional action is needed for families to receive P-EBT benefits.

Families may have more than one eligible child for Summer P-EBT in their household, and benefits will be issued appropriately for each eligible child. For any household that needs to report a lost or damaged P-EBT card, families may call 1-888-979-9939 for a replacement.

Students who were not eligible for free or reduced priced meals through the NSLP but may be eligible now should complete a Meal Benefit application by June 30, 2023, to determine eligibility to receive Summer P-EBT.

More information about Summer-PEBT eligibility can be found here. For questions not answered in the FAQ, households can call United Way’s 2-1-1 hotline.