Because COVID-19 closed our schools, your children may be eligible for food assistance through a program called Pandemic EBT (P-EBT): Emergency School Meals Program. It is a benefit for Washington children in Grades K-12 who receive free or reduced-price school meals. P-EBT is intended to replace meals missed while schools closed due to COVID-19.
P-EBT benefits are accessed via an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card which is used like a debit card to buy groceries, providing families with funds to make up for the cost of meals while school was closed.
If your family has lost income since schools closed, your children may now be eligible for free or reduced-price school meals. Find out if you are eligible by calling 360-619-1309, and you can apply through Skyward Family Access. Or you can complete the application on the district’s Food Service page at this link: https://www.ridgefieldsd.org/o/district/page/food-services--27 . Once your children qualify for free or reduced-price school meals, you can apply for P-EBT benefits.
Important: The application window for P-EBT will open soon and will remain open until the start of the 2020-21 school year. However, in order to apply for P-EBT, eligibility for free and reduced price meals must be determined no later than June 30th. Also, if your family does not receive Basic Food benefits, you must apply for P-EBT if you want to receive the funds. There are two ways to apply:
- Go to https://www.washingtonconnection.org/home/ -OR-
- Call DSHS at 877-501-2233
Every eligible child may receive up to a maximum of $399 of P-EBT. Immigration status does not matter for P-EBT—it is not Basic Food and will not count in a public charge test. Also, children can get free meals from school and community sites and get P-EBT at the same time – they are separate programs.
To learn more about P-EBT in detail, visit www.k12.wa.us/PEBT to view a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the program.
We want to make sure all of our students stay healthy and grow strong. If you know of a family who could benefit from P-EBT, we encourage you to share this information with them.