Oregon approved to issue $550M in food assistance to 572,000 children

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The State of Oregon received approval from the federal government to issue retroactive food benefits to eligible student families for the 2020-21 school year.

The benefits are expected to be issued beginning in July.

This will provide more than $550 million in food assistance for approximately 572,000 children in Oregon.

P-EBT provides food benefits to families whose children do not have access to the free or reduced-price meals usually provided at school.

“P-EBT benefits will significantly support the food security, health and well-being of children and families across Oregon,” said Dan Haun, director of the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), Self-Sufficiency Programs. “Still, many Oregonians are struggling meeting their basic needs. We encourage them to contact our partners at 211 and the Oregon Food Bank.”

ODHS and ODE share responsibility in ensuring that children across Oregon receive P-EBT food benefits. ODE collaborates with school districts across Oregon to determine eligibility and ODHS issues the benefits on Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards.

“All children deserve access to adequate nutrition to fuel their learning. The Oregon Department of Education is happy to be partnering with ODHS and local school districts to meet the nutrition needs of Oregon’s children and families who were most impacted by the pandemic.” said Cindy Hunt, Chief of Staff at Oregon Department of Education (ODE).

Households do not need to apply for P-EBT.

Benefits will be automatically issued for students who normally have access to free and reduced-price meals and are enrolled at a school in Oregon.

If your children are not currently enrolled in free or reduced meals you can apply through your school or online at the Oregon Department of Education website.

Qualifying for free or reduced meals for the 2020 – 2021 school year before June 30, 2021, will ensure you receive P-EBT when the benefits are issued. P-EBT benefit eligibility and amounts will vary.

Visit pebt.oregon.gov for more information.

Each student will receive their own P-EBT card.

Students and households new to P-EBT and households with more than one student will receive an Oregon P-EBT card in the mail with instructions.

Cards will be mailed to the address on file with the school for those students who do not receive SNAP.

Students who are already receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will receive the P-EBT benefits on the EBT card associated with their household’s SNAP case.

P-EBT does not replace any child nutrition program already offered, and families are encouraged to continue participating in grab-n-go-meals or emergency food programs at their local schools and community locations.

P-EBT is separate from SNAP benefits including emergency allotments that are also being issued due to the impact of COVID-19. P-EBT benefits are not considered in a public charge test.

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