Food Assistance Program To Benefit 46,000 Children

Editor Special to Devils Lake Journal

NORTH DAKOTA – State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler and State Department of Human Services Director Chris Jones announced on July 21 that 46,000 North Dakota children will be receiving a new round of food assistance funds this summer.

The program is called Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer, or P-EBT. The money will benefit two different groups: Children whose households receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) funds, and children who are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals.

Here are the eligibility guidelines:

Children ages 0-5:

Children ages 0-5 who are receiving SNAP benefits during the summer months will receive an extra $391 benefit. In addition, they will receive a $20 benefit for each month they received SNAP benefits from September 2021 through May 2022. The money will be deposited in a one-time lump sum to each household’s SNAP electronic benefits card. About 12,000 children are eligible for this benefit.

School-Age Children:

School-age children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals will receive a $391 P-EBT benefit if they were eligible for the meals during either the 2021-22 school year or the summer of 2022. Cards will be mailed to each eligible school-age child. They should arrive by mid-August. About 34,000 children are eligible for this benefit. Benefits may be delayed if student addresses are incorrect or unavailable. Families whose children are not presently eligible for free or reduced-price school meals may also apply for the meal program through their school before Aug. 19, 2022, to become eligible. Those who are deemed eligible will receive the $391 lump sum benefit. For that group, benefits will be issued in late August or early October.

Families who have questions should call the P-EBT hotline at 701-328-2732 or email snap-pebt@nd.gov.

Replacement benefit cards may be obtained from the beneficiary’s local human service zone office.

The P-EBT program is a partnership of the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction, the North Dakota Department of Human Services, and the U.S. Agriculture Department’s Food and Nutrition Service. The money was approved by Congress as part of COVID-19 pandemic relief legislation.