Delaware Gets Approval to Extend Pandemic-EBT Benefits to Feed Children During COVID-19 Emergency

Eligible Households Will Be Reimbursed Through September for Cost of Meals That Would Have Been Available in Schools

NEW CASTLE (Sept. 30, 2020) – The Division of Social Services received federal approval Sept. 25 to extend benefits under the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program to cover the months of August and September. P-EBT was authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to provide assistance to families with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals.

The P-EBT program provides a supplemental food-purchasing benefit to current Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households and a new EBT benefit to eligible non-SNAP households to offset the cost of meals that would have otherwise been available at school.

P-EBT benefits will be issued to all eligible households on Sept. 30.

The approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture extends the benefits initially approved and issued starting in spring 2020 in response to Delaware’s state of emergency ordered during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the current state of emergency declaration, Delaware’s schools are open, but most are operating under remote learning for the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.

The recent approval allows Delaware to extend the benefits through September to households with school-aged children who are participating in remote learning for five consecutive days and do not have access to free meals at their schools.

Households with children participating in remote learning must also meet one of the following conditions to receive P-EBT:

  • The household includes children who are certified to receive free or reduced-price school meals for the 2020-2021 school year, or;
  • The household includes children who attend schools that offer free school meals to all students (Community Eligibility or Provision 2 schools) for the 2020-2021 school year.

For the 2020-2021 school year, approximately 81,000 children attending Delaware schools are eligible to receive P-EBT benefits. The P-EBT benefits will be issued as a supplement to SNAP households on their existing EBT cards and to non-SNAP households on their existing P-EBT cards from the 2019-2020 school year. Non-SNAP households who became eligible for P-EBT for the 2020-2021 school year will automatically receive a new P-EBT card in the mail for all eligible children in their household along with details on how to use the card.

Delaware will follow the P-EBT benefit guidance provided by the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service. The P-EBT benefit amount equals the federal reimbursement rate for breakfast and lunch of $5.86 per child per eligible school day. P-EBT benefit amounts will vary based on school start dates and remote learning schedules. P-EBT benefits can only be issued to children who attend schools that are participating in the P-EBT program.

P-EBT Issuance Details

Each eligible child in a household will receive $5.86 in P-EBT benefits for each eligible school day in August and September that their child’s school was operating under remote learning.
P-EBT benefits will be issued to all eligible households on Sept. 30, 2020. Households with an EBT or P-EBT card will automatically receive their benefits on their card for all of the eligible children in their household. It may take up to two weeks for newly eligible households to receive their P-EBT cards in the mail.

“The P-EBT program helps to keep Delaware families healthy and their children fed during this national emergency,” said Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Molly Magarik. “This additional support is critically important as families continue to cope with the health and education challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Eligible households will receive written notification in the mail regarding P-EBT benefits for August and September.

Please contact the Division of Social Services at 1-866-843-7212 if you have questions about Delaware’s P-EBT Program.