Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) Food Benefits

Answers to many commonly asked questions about the P-EBT food benefits for New York State residents can be found on New York State’s website.

What are P-EBT food benefits?

The Continuing Appropriations Act of 2021 and Other Extensions Act reauthorized the payment of P-EBT food benefits to households with children who would have received free school lunches under the National School Lunch Act, if not for a reduction in in-person learning due to the pandemic. These temporary food benefits are being provided to help cover the cost of meals children would have otherwise received at school during the 2020-21 academic year.

P-EBT food benefits are not SNAP benefits. They can only be used to purchase the same food items that can be purchased with SNAP benefits. A list of food items that may be purchased with food benefits can be found at http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/eligible-food-items/.

Are my child/children eligible for P-EBT food benefits?

Children who receive free school lunches through the National School Lunch Program are eligible for P-EBT food benefits if their school has been operating with reduced in-person attendance due to COVID-19 during the 2020-21 school year. This includes children who attend Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) schools and any private, prekindergarten, parochial and charter schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program. Please contact your child/children’s school or school district with questions concerning their participation in the National School Lunch Program.

You do not (and cannot) apply for P-EBT food benefits. P-EBT food benefits will automatically be issued to eligible children.

How much will my child/children receive in P-EBT food benefits?

Eligible children will receive P-EBT food benefits based on the number of days their school has reported that it was closed, or that in-person attendance was reduced due to COVID-19. There are two different amounts that an eligible child may receive:

  • Children whose schools reported that their in-person school attendance was reduced by 1 to 12 days during a month, will receive $82 in P-EBT food benefits for that month.
  • Children whose schools reported that their in-person school attendance was reduced for more than 12 days during a month, will receive $132 in P-EBT food benefits for that month
  • Children whose schools reported that their in-person attendance was not reduced during a month due to COVID will not receive a benefit for that month.

Please note, the P-EBT food benefit amount that eligible children receive is based on the availability of monthly in-person school attendance information provided by schools and school districts.

For more information, please visit SNAP COVID-19 Information P-EBT Frequently Asked Questions page.

If you have questions, you may call the P-EBT Food Benefits Helpline: 1-833-452-0096 or visit: P-EBT Information Form to submit a question in writing.