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Families of eligible children will get a P-EBT food benefit

May 6, 2022

This benefit will help make up for missed free or reduced-price meals at school.

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-19. Benefits are $39.90 each month for an eligible student who had at least one COVID-19-related absence.

Approximately $3.6 million in benefits will be issued to 22,238 Vermont households for September 2021 through January 2022. This covers 33,234 students.

Eligible households will receive a letter explaining the benefit. All eligible households should receive their benefit by May 5. Another benefit for February through June 2022 will be issued in August.

"Healthy and nutritious foods are essential for students’ learning and growth,” said Secretary of Education Dan French. “This benefit will help ensure students have access to nutritious meals through the end of the school year.”

“The P-EBT benefit provides additional support to households that rely on free or reduced-price meals at school to feed their children,” said DCF Commissioner Sean Brown.  “It’s important to make sure every eligible family knows about the help that’s available.”

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 a year from the date of issuance and are non-transferable.

To learn more, read these Frequently Asked Questions on our website at

Apply for free and reduced-price meals at Agency of Education's School Meals Website.