AUSTIN, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – Announced by the office of Governor Greg Abbot Tuesday, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the next round of federal Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) food benefits for families who have lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to COVID-19.
“Summer P-EBT, covering June through August, provides a one-time benefit of $375 per eligible child and can be used in the same way as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits to pay for groceries.” said the Governor’s office, “The administration of summer P-EBT is a joint effort by HHSC, the Texas Department of Agriculture and the Texas Education Agency.”
“Thank you to HHSC and USDA for working together to ensure Texas families can continue to put food on the table,” said Governor Abbott. “This third round of pandemic food benefits will help us continue to provide access to nutritious food for both families and their children.”
“As children across the state start going back to school, we’re thankful we can provide this added benefit so Texans can provide nutritious food for their families,” said Wayne Salter, HHS Deputy Executive Commissioner of Access and Eligibility Services.
The Governor’s office said that the HHSC has been approved for more than $1.4 billion in benefits to around 3.7 million eligible children in Texas. So far, around $4.6 billion in P-EBT food benefits have been distributed to Texas families by the HHSC.
Summer P-EBT was described by the Governor’s office as for families with children in grades K-12 who are certified for free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), and families with children born after Aug. 1, 2014 who receive SNAP food benefits.
K-12 students who were eligible for benefits during the 2020-21 school year are eligible for summer P-EBT benefits as long as they were still enrolled in school during the last month of the school year. According to the Governor’s office, this does include children who did not get a 2020-21 school year P-EBT benefit based on virtual attendance percentages given by schools.
Families do not need to take action if they received the 2020-21 school year P-EBT benefits previously, as summer benefits will be received automatically. Children born after Aug. 1, 2014 who have received SNAP food benefits between June 2021 and Aug. 2021 will automatically be given benefits on their Lone Star Card without action by those families.
However, families who did not apply for 2020-2021 school year P-EBT can still apply by Sept. 13, and will receive benefits automatically if eligible.
The Governor’s office said that some children who were not eligible for 2020-21 school year P-EBT benefits, but attended a Texas school during the last month of the school year, may still be eligible for summer P-EBT. Schools and districts are sharing extra information about NSLP eligibility, including a reminder to complete the household application for free and reduced-price meals (NSLP form) by Aug. 28. Schools will provide the child’s information to HHSC to issue summer P-EBT benefits.
Families can learn more about P-EBT benefits for the fall by visiting here, or calling 833-442-1255.