Eligible children will get a food benefit to make up for missed free or reduced-price meals at school

13 May 2020

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 eligible children in Vermont. About 35,000 K-12 students are eligible because they were participating in the free or reduced-price meals program at their schools before April 1, 2020.

Households with eligible children will receive a benefit of $387.60 per eligible child. It is called a Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (or P-EBT).

"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 Ken Schatz.  “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 will be issued this additional benefit on their cards by May 27, 2020.
  • Other households will be issued special P-EBT cards. They should receive their cards in the mail by May 27, 2020.

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.

If a household’s economic situation has changed since schools closed, they can apply for free and reduced-priced meals for their school-aged children. If they are determined to be eligible, they may receive a P-EBT benefit.

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