All Pittsburgh Public Schools families will receive Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) supplemental funds for lunches missed while being out of school due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the New Pittsburgh Courier has learned. PPS families, PreK-12, will receive these emergency benefits.
“Since this pandemic school closure began on March 16th, Pittsburgh Public Schools has distributed 120,964 Grab and Go meals to help feed students,” said Dr. Anthony Hamlet, Superintendent, in a statement. “We know that this additional resource will provide financial relief for families struggling with food security.”
Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the Food and Nutrition Service approved the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) to provide households with children eligible for free and reduced-priced meals under the National School Lunch Program (NLSP) or the School Breakfast Program (SBP) with P-EBT benefits due to COVID-19 and related school closures. Since all District students are eligible to receive free breakfast and lunch through the Community Eligibility Program, all PPS families will receive P-EBT supplemental funds.
The benefit is issued for 65 days to cover the period from March 16, 2020, through June 12, 2020. Each PPS student will receive $370.50 total. Benefits will be provided to all eligible children whether or not they currently receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
The benefit amount is $5.70 per school day per child through the average end of the school year, covering the weekdays the child missed due to school closures. The benefit period for which P-EBT benefits can be issued is March 16, 2020 to June 12, 2020, as schools were closed statewide on March 16, 2020. PPS families who currently receive SNAP benefits will have their P-EBT benefit directly onto their current EBT card. All other PPS families will receive a special white EBT card with their P-EBT benefits. Families who do not wish to participate in the program can shred and dispose of the card.