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Estimated 3.5 million Texans Who Qualify for Pandemic Food Benefits, Could Receive $391

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The COVID-19 pandemic may have made parents, who lost their children’s access to summer meal programs eligible for pandemic food assistance. On November 16, Governor- Greg Abbott declared that Texas had received approval from the federal government for the fifth round of P-EBT (Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfers). The program, which is managed by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, offers compensation to families who qualify for free or low-cost lunch and experienced hardship due to the pandemic’s impact on school closures.

According to a press release from Wayne Salter, HHSC deputy executive commissioner of Access and Eligibility Services, “We’re proud to be helping families/households in Texas so they can provide food to their children.” Well-fed children can concentrate on studying rather than worrying about their next meal.

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According to the HHSC, this session of pandemic food benefits will fund summer meal costs from 1 June to 30 August. Over 3.5 million eligible children will receive payments worth over $1.4 billion from the HHSC. According to the statement, families will receive $391 for each qualified child.

As other EBT and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, these can be used to pay for food. According to the announcement, teenagers must have been eligible for free or low-cost lunch during the 2021–2022 school year or the summer after. The National School Lunch Program, in which most school districts in Texas are participating, offers free and lowered-price lunches.

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The press release claims that qualified students who have never received SNAP or EBT benefits will get a notification in the mail with instructions on how to do so. Families have 90 days from the date of the notice to submit all claims for benefits.

According to the press, people who received SNAP assistance throughout the summer will immediately start receiving P-EBT benefits on the Lone Star Cards in December. They will also receive a notification informing them of the advantages but are not required to take any action to receive them.