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Families of eligible children will get a food benefit to help make up for missed free or reduced-price meals at school

August 25, 2022

The federal government has authorized the Vermont Department for Children and Families (DCF) and Agency of Education (AOE) to provide a temporary food benefit to preK-12 students who would normally receive free or reduced-price meals at school.

These benefits, called Pandemic EBT or P-EBT, are provided to students who missed meals at school due to COVID.  Benefits are $48.78 each month an eligible student had at least one COVID-related absence February through June 2022.

  1. enrolled in a school offering the school meals program as of June 2022, and
  2. eligible to receive free/reduced-price meals at school.

Approximately $16.3 million in benefits will be issued to 24,912 Vermont households. This covers 37,804 students.

Eligible households will receive a letter explaining the benefit. All eligible households should receive their benefit by August 26.

"A regular supply of healthy and nutritious foods is essential for the growth and development of our children,” said Secretary of Education Dan French. “This benefit will help ensure students have access to nutritious meals through the end of the school year.”

“We want to make sure no child goes hungry during this health crisis,” said DCF Commissioner Sean Brown.  “The P-EBT benefit will provide much-needed support to Vermont households that typically rely on free or reduced meals at school to feed their children."

How The Benefit Will Be Issued:

  • Households that currently get 3SquaresVT on an EBT card may be issued this additional benefit on their cards.
  • Other households will be issued benefits on special P-EBT cards issued last year or on new P-EBT cards if the household is new to the program.

P-EBT benefits may be used to buy eligible food items anywhere 3SquaresVT is accepted. Benefits will be active for 9 months from the date of issuance and are non-transferable.

To learn more, read these Frequently-Asked Questions on our website at Pandemic EBT.

Apply for free and reduced-price meals at