Pandemic EBT (P-EBT)

Pandemic EBT (P-EBT)

Authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the program helps ensure that all school-age children who have lost access to free and reduced-price school meals due to the pandemic are provided with replacement meal in an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. 

P-EBT Extension

Over the summer of 2020, P-EBT provided food benefits to eligible school aged children for the months of March, April, May, and June 2020. Recently, California was approved to provide additional P-EBT benefits to children who already received P-EBT benefits for the months of August and September 2020. This is referred to as the “P-EBT Extension”

Children eligible for P-EBT extension benefits:

  • Previously received P-EBT benefits for the 2019-20 school year;
  • Are attending a California K-12 school for the 2020-21 school year; and
  • Are assumed to be attending school virtually or via a hybrid model of virtual and in-person instruction for the 2020-21 school year.

Under the P-EBT extension, each eligible child will receive a new P-EBT card with P-EBT benefits for the months of August and September 2020. These new P-EBT cards will be mailed directly to families in late October through late December. Eligible families do not need to apply to receive P-EBT extension benefits.

IMPORTANT: Children who are newly eligible for free or reduced-price school meals for the 2020-21 school year are not eligible for P-EBT extension benefits and will be served under the second P-EBT program (P-EBT 2.0) described below.

  • As of December 22, 2020, all P-EBT extension cards have been issued. CDSS confirms that all P-EBT cards have mailed.

P-EBT 2.0

Planning for P-EBT 2.0 is still underway. CDSS have received federal guidance related to P-EBT for school aged children, the guidance for childcare aged children is still pending. CDSS is continuing their planning based on the P-EBT guidance they have already received from FNS and hope to have more updates for stakeholders soon. Once the P-EBT plan has been submitted to FNS, CDSS will hold a webinar to update stakeholders regarding plans for P-EBT 2.0. No Kid Hungry will be here to help disseminate the information. 


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*Last updated on 01/26/2021