The United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Services has announced that Nebraska has been approved for the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT), a new program authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which provides assistance to families of children who are eligible for free or reduced-priced meals and impacted by school closures.

Families who were on the Free or Reduced Price Lunch Program (FRPL) for the 2019-2020 school year are eligible to receive the cost of meals missed because of the COVID-19 school closure on an EBT card.

Families who are already participating in SNAP will automatically have the funds added to their SNAP card and don’t need to apply.

Any family participating in the Free and Reduced Lunch program but not on SNAP must apply for the program between June 22 and July 19 by going to https://cip-dhhs.ne.gov.

Benefits for approved applicants will be issued once between July 28 and July 31 and again between August 15 - 19.

The allocation of funds will vary based on the number of months of eligibility determined for the child or children for the free/reduced school lunch program during the months of March, April and May.

Receiving P-EBT benefits will not affect a family’s ability to receive other benefits and benefits will be good for one year after receiving them. The funds can be utilized at grocery stores and farmer’s markets that accept SNAP EBT and to purchase groceries online at Amazon and Walmart.

Those who do not have access to the internet may call the ACCESSNebraska hotline at 800-373-4287.

If you have questions, you may contact Joni Jacobsen, Nutrition Services Director at Gothenburg Public Schools at 308-537-3651, ext. 6127.