HOUSTON (CW39) The largest district in Texas, HISD wants families to know they may qualify for up $1,200 per child under the federal pandemic program.
Families can now apply for a Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT), a one-time benefit for families who temporarily lost access to student meals during the 2020–2021 school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The application is available online at yourtexasbenefits.com/Learn/PEBT from June 2 through Aug. 13, 2021.
Offered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Texas Health and Human Services Commission, the benefit program will provide up to $1,200 per child for eligible families. It was first established last year to help families buy food during the pandemic.
The benefit amount is based on what school the student attended and the number of days most students received remote instruction.
Eligible families include those with children up to 21 years old who were certified for free or reduced-price meals at a Texas school during the 2020-2021 school year, as well as those with children at schools that offer meals at no charge through the Community Eligibility Provision.
Because HISD provides free meals to all students through the Community Eligibility Provision, all HISD students are eligible to receive P-EBT benefits.
“We have worked hard over the past year to make sure we provided continued access to healthy food for our students and families who needed it most,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “As we wind down our own community distribution program, this benefit comes at the perfect time to help our families who are still recovering.”
Families who received Snap benefits during the 2020–2021 school year will have P-EBT benefits loaded on their Lone Star Card. Families who did not get SNAP benefits during the 2020–2021 school year will have a P-EBT Card with funds mailed to them.
P-EBT benefits can be used wherever SNAP food benefits are accepted and at any retailer that accepts the Lone Star Card to buy household food items such as fruit, meat, poultry, fish, dairy, and bread.
For more information, please visit hhs.texas.gov/PEBT or call the P-EBT Call Center at 833-442-1255 Monday through Friday 8 a.m.–6 p.m. Central Time.