SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Aug. 3, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The application for the Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfer program is now available for Utahns, officials said Monday.
The program provides a one-time payment of $308 to children in kindergarten through 12th grade who were eligible to receive free or reduced-price school meals on March 16, 2020, said a news release from the Utah Department of Workforce Services.
This is a federal food assistance program created by Congress as part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Children who were eligible to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits on March 16 will receive their P-EBT benefit this week, sending $18 million out to Utah families.
“We are grateful to now provide this important benefit,” said Dale Ownby, Department of Workforce Services Eligibility Services director. “The availability of this program represents a collaborative effort with our department, the Utah State Board of Education and community partners. Since the initial creation of the program by Congress, we have not stopped actively pursuing and working toward this announcement.”
Children in families that received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits on March 16 do not need to apply for P-EBT. These benefits were automatically added to their balance. Children not receiving SNAP benefits on March 16 will need to apply for P-EBT in order to receive the benefits. An estimated 75,000 households may have children eligible and will need to apply in order to receive the P-EBT benefit, the news release said. This could bring an additional $50 million to Utah families for food assistance. Applications must be submitted by Aug. 31, and benefits will be provided in September. The short application is available online here.
“Ensuring our students have food security has always been a priority for the Utah State Board of Education,” said Sydnee Dickson, state superintendent of public instruction. “Having this additional one-time benefit available for eligible families will be a great support as we start the new school year. With everything going on, the last thing our school communities need is to worry about food security.”
Through the entirety of the pandemic, despite the closure of schools, free meals have continued to be provided to students in every Utah school district to ensure children have access to food.
For more information about the program and answers to frequently asked questions, click here, or call 833-940-2990. Workforce Services is working with the Utah State Board of Education and community partners to ensure families are aware of these important benefits.