MDHS, MDE releasing P-EBT benefits to about 350K Miss. children
MDHS also reminding parents to activate their child’s P-EBT card.
JACKSON, Miss. (WDAM) - The Mississippi Department of Education and Mississippi Department of Human Services are set to release almost $264 million in Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) benefits to children in the state.
According to MDHS, the benefits will come later this month, through two lump-sum payments; first for Summer 2021 and second for the 2020-21 school year.
MDHS says the Summer P-EBT is set to meet the nutrition needs of children throughout the summer months while school lunches were not an option, and the school year P-EBT benefits are meant to help families with additional food costs that their household may have experienced due to school closures during the past school year.
“This second round of P-EBT benefits is part of our continued service to Mississippi families whose normal learning environment was disrupted by the pandemic,” said MDHS Executive Director Robert G. “Bob” Anderson. “The Mississippi Department of Human Services is providing this tangible help to Mississippi children to create hope for tomorrow.”
Based on United States Department of Agriculture regulations, P-EBT funds can purchase any food for the household, such as:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Meat, poultry and fish
- Dairy products
- Bread and cereals
- Other foods such as snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages
- Seeds and plants, which produce food for the household to eat
However, households CANNOT use P-EBT benefits to buy the following:
- Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco
- Vitamins medicines and supplements. If an item has a Supplement Facts label, it is considered a supplement and is not eligible for SNAP purchase
- Live animals (except shellfish, fish removed from water and animals slaughtered prior to pick-up from the store)
- Foods that are hot at the point of sale
- Any nonfood items such as pet foods, cleaning supplies, paper products and other household supplies, hygiene items and cosmetics
The Summer 2021 payment will be provided to each child in the state who was eligible to receive free or reduced-price lunch under the National School Lunch Program during the 2020-21 school year. Each eligible child will get a payment of $375, as about 345,000 school children in Mississippi will get the summer P-EBT benefit.
About 185,000 Mississippi students will get P-EBT benefits for the 2020-21 school year because they were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch and attended a school that had a predominately hybrid or virtual schedule for at least one month.
The amount that children eligible for 2020-21 school year P-EBT benefits will receive will depend on their school’s reported learning schedule during that year, according to MDHS. The total program’s benefit is around $116 million.
Each child’s eligibility and amount for School Year 2020-21 P-EBT benefits was determined for each month of that school year (August 2020 – May 2021) using information received from school districts about their schedules.
Benefits will be issued to eligible children at the address provided by MDE.
MDHS is also reminding parents to activate their child’s P-EBT card.
Parents can call 1-866-512-5087 to activate their child’s card. Information about how to PIN each child’s card is also available in the document that came in the envelope with the child’s P-EBT card. They do need to call the P-EBT Call Center to activate the card.
To review the benefit amount eligible children in your school district or school will receive for the 2020-21 school year, please find your school on the P-EBT School list available by clicking here, and if families have other P-EBT related questions, call the P-EBT Call Center at 1-833-316-2423.
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