STATEMENT: No Kid Hungry New York Director Rachel Sabella on Extension of Pandemic EBT

“This is good news for kids across New York,” said Sabella. “An additional grocery benefit during the summer is an effective way to make sure kids get more of the food they need when school is out.”

Contact: Nadea Mina, or 917-753-5303

New York – This week, Governor Cuomo’s office announced the roll-out of the federal Pandemic EBT benefit across New York. PEBT provides a modest grocery benefit to parents whose children were unable to access free school meals during the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath. According to the USDA, this benefit “builds on lessons learned from USDA’s Summer EBT pilots,” which “have proven successful at reducing severe food insecurity as well as improving the quality of children’s diets.” In New York, PEBT will be administered by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance and will provide eligible students with $82 in benefits for each month they participated in hybrid learning and $132 in benefits for each month they participated in fully remote learning during the 2020-2021 school year. The following is a statement from No Kid Hungry New York Director Rachel Sabella about what this means for children and their families.

“Extending Pandemic EBT is great news for kids and their families in New York.

PEBT just makes good sense. In the wake of the pandemic, New York parents are stressed. Millions of families continue to face increased financial strain and hardship. As many as 1 in 5 kids in New York State could face hunger this summer.

Providing families with an additional grocery benefit is a practical, efficient way to combat hunger, especially when school isn’t in session. PEBT works seamlessly with other nutrition programs like summer meals, WIC and SNAP to make sure families have the food they need when times are tough.

It’s also an essential investment in our youngest generation. Making sure kids get the food they need is linked to stronger academic achievement, a lower risk of illness, and a stronger sense of emotional wellbeing. This is an important foundation to set them up for greater success when they return to school this Fall.”