State Representative Esther Helton announced Friday that financial assistance is available to help families provide food for their children through the Tennessee Department of Human Services.
The Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer, or P-EBT, aims to provide financial assistance for school meals missed during the months of March, April, and May due to COVID-19 school closures. The P-EBT money can be used at grocery stores and other retailers that accept EBT cards to buy food for children.
The P-EBT was created through the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act as a way to reimburse families whose children are on a free or reduced lunch program, but could not receive those meals when school closed in the spring.
House Republicans have pushed to ensure Tennesseans’ needs are met during times of crisis.
“No child should ever have to skip meals or go days experiencing hunger,” said Rep.
Helton. “This program will help our most vulnerable students and their families put food on the table and ensure they’ll have the resources they need to be healthy and ready to learn.”
Families must meet the following criteria to qualify: receive free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program or attend a Community Eligibility Provision school that provides free meals to all students. Families already receiving SNAP or TANF benefits do not need to apply as the funds have already been distributed. Families can apply at tn.gov/humanservices or call 1-866-311-4287 by Aug. 14, at 4:30 p.m. Central Time.