Estimated 3.5 million Texans- Would be Qualified For $391 in Pandemic Food Benefits

The COVID-19 pandemic may have made parents who lost their children’s access to summer meal programs, they are eligible for pandemic food benefits. On November 16, Governor- Greg Abbott declared that Texas had received approval from the federal government for the fifth round of Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfers. The program, which is managed by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, offers benefits to families who qualify for discounted or free lunch and experienced difficulties due to the pandemic’s effect on school closures.

Wayne Salter, an HHSC deputy executive commissioner of Access and Eligibility Services, stated in a news release that he was “proud to be helping families in Texas so they can provide food to their children.” “Having a good diet helps children to concentrate on studying rather than worrying about where they will get their next meal.”

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According to the HHSC, this set of pandemic food benefits will pay summer meal expenses from 1 June to 30 August. For over 3.5 million eligible children, the HHSC will distribute payments worth more than $1.4 billion. According to the press release, families will receive $391 for each eligible child.

Like other EBT and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, these can be used to pay for groceries. According to the announcement, students must have been eligible for free or discounted-price lunch during the 2021–2022 academic year or the summer. The National School Lunch Program, in which most school districts in Texas are participating, gives free and discounted price lunches.

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The press release says that eligible students who have never received SNAP or EBT benefits will get a notification in the mail with instructions on how to do so. Families have 90 days from the date of the notice to claim their benefits.

According to the statement, people who received SNAP benefits throughout the summer will immediately start receiving P-EBT benefits on their Lone Star Cards in December. They will also receive a notification informing them of the advantages, but they are not required to take any action in order to receive them.