Pandemic-Related School Food Benefits to Continue

COVID-19 illustration by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

HYANNIS – It was recently announced that Massachusetts has received federal approval to continue Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) benefits covering the school year 2022-2023 and the summer of 2023.

The program was created during the COVID-19 public health emergency to promote increased food security for students eligible for free or reduced-price school meals.

With the end of the federal public health emergency on May 11, this will be the last round of benefits.

“Massachusetts continues to lead in food security through initiatives that directly provide families with the funds to buy groceries that meet their nutritional and cultural needs,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kate Walsh.

“Not only does this P-EBT plan approval promote food and security for nearly 500,000 students and their families, but it also supports our local grocery stores, corner stores, farmers, and their employees,” Walsh said.

Eligible K-12 families will receive a retroactive P-EBT payment on June 25 for COVID-19-related school absences that occurred from September 2022 through May 11, 2023.

The amount received will depend on the number of COVID-19-related excused absences accrued in a month as reported by school districts with 1-5 absences equaling $25 a month per student, 6-15 equaling $82, and 16+ equaling $147.

An estimated 475,000 school-age children and their families will also receive $120 per student in one Summer P-EBT payment on July 25.

To learn more about the P-EBT and other benefits visit their website.

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