TDHS announces round 3 P-EBT program

Published 2:26 pm Wednesday, March 10, 2021

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The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) has announced the next round of the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program which supports children who receive free or reduced school meals. In order to ensure these new P-EBT cards are mailed to the right addresses next month, qualifying families must verify information online.

“We have been working directly with school districts and community groups to ensure qualifying families receive these funds directly in a timely manner,” said TDHS Commissioner Clarence H. Carter. “With eligibility changes to this new round, more children are now eligible, and we need any family receiving free or reduced lunch support to check their status online.”

March 14 is the deadline for parents to update their address online prior to receiving the first payments. For eligibility assistance, parents may contact the P-EBT Hotline at 833-496- 0661.

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The department is working with schools to provide a letter with additional guidance. Support is always available online in Somali, Arabic, and Spanish languages.

Changes to P-EBT eligibility will allow some students who didn’t qualify for the last round to participate this time.

Round 3 eligibility guidelines follow:

  • The child must qualify for free or reduced-price school meals under the National School Lunch Program. This includes any student in a school that provided free meals to all students (under a special rule called “Community Eligibility Provision”).
  • And, the child did not receive free or reduced-priced meals at the school because the school is closed to in-person learning; or has been operating with reduced attendance or hours for at least 5 consecutive days in the current school year.

P-EBT cards will be reloaded with benefits on a rolling basis as long as the USDA continues to fund the program. These P-EBT cards can be used like a debit card to purchase food at any establishment that accepts EBT or online with Amazon, Walmart, Aldi, Food Lion and Superlo in Memphis.

The amount each student will receive varies based on the below learning schedule: • Students who are learning 100% virtually will receive $122.76 in P-EBT a month.

  • Students who are on a hybrid learning schedule will receive an amount based on the statewide average number of days students spent that month on hybrid schedules. For October 2020 that amount is $51.15.

P-EBT benefits were provided to more than 740,000 children during the first round of P-EBT for the spring 2020 school semester and another 364,000 children received benefits for the second round that ended in September.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act authorized the U.S. Department of Agriculture to approve states for P-EBT. Approved state agencies may operate P-EBT when a school is closed for at least five consecutive days during a public health emergency designation when the school would otherwise be in session.

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