New Food Benefits for Maryland Students that Qualify for Free & Reduced-Price School Meals
What you need to know about the new P-EBT program to help families while schools are closed — Coming in June 2020
What is the new food benefit for students?
The new P-EBT program, or Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer, provides benefits on a debit-style EBT card to help families with children purchase healthy food.
Will I get P-EBT benefits?
All Maryland students that qualify for free or reduced-price school meals are eligible for P-EBT benefits.
All students at Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) schools are eligible for P-EBT. In CEP schools, ALL students receive free breakfast and lunch.
You can apply for free and reduced-price school meals at any time during the year by filling out a school meal benefit application. Call or go to your school district’s website for more information.
Note: All low-income students are eligible for free and reduced price meals and P-EBT benefits, regardless of immigration status. Information on the school meal benefit application is not shared with the federal government.
How does P-EBT work?
Each school-aged child will receive $5.70 per day that schools were closed – about $114 a month.
If your household receives SNAP benefits, P-EBT payments are added to your SNAP card. Previously called food stamps, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, is also known as the Food Supplement Program, or FSP, in Maryland.
If your household does not receive SNAP benefits, you will receive a new P-EBT card in the mail.
You can use P-EBT to purchase food at stores and farmer’s markets that accept SNAP, EBT, or the Independence Card. P-EBT cannot be used to purchase alcohol, tobacco, soap, or paper products.
What if I do not get SNAP?
If you think you may be eligible, we encourage you to apply for SNAP. The best way to apply is to go online to mydhrbenefits.dhr.state.md.us and click “create account.” You can also call the Department of Human Services at 1-800-332-6347.