What is Pandemic EBT?

P-EBT is a federal program that provides food benefits for families with young children (0-6 years) who also got CalFresh Food benefits between October 2020 and May 2021 or school age children who were eligible for free or reduced price school meals during the 2020-21 school year.

P-EBT provides additional food benefits to make up for free or reduced-price meals usually served at child care or school that children may have missed because of the pandemic. Buying food for your family shouldn’t use up your whole budget. Pandemic EBT (or P-EBT) is a no-risk federal food benefits program that helps families afford food that keeps their kids strong and healthy. 

**Families do not need to apply for P-EBT** P-EBT cards are automatically sent to eligible families based on information from other programs, including CalFresh Food benefits and Free or Reduced-Price School Meals.

Public charge rules do not apply to programs like CalFresh, P-EBT, WIC, and school meal programs. 

As of December 2021, all P-EBT 2.0 cards have been mailed out and reloaded with benefits.

For more information or support, please visit the P-EBT website or call the P-EBT Helpline at (877) 328-9677 (M-F, 6 AM to 8 PM).



Families that receive P-EBT could also qualify for CalFresh Food benefits. 

Need support with CalFresh outreach? Contact your county social services agency for more information.

Last Reviewed: March 17, 2022