We are pleased to announce that HIDOE and the Hawaiʻi Department of Human Services (DHS) will be providing temporary food purchasing assistance to families with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals due to the impact of school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the 2019-20 school year, eligible families were provided Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) School Meal Replacement Benefits of up to $360 per child due to school closures in March, April and May. This school year, families are eligible to receive up to $286 per child for the months of August and September.
There is no application specifically for P-EBT. Any child or family who qualifies for free or reduced-price school meals for the current 2020-21 school year will automatically be eligible for P-EBT. Students who attend a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school and direct-certification students also will automatically be qualified for this program.
HIDOE families that have already qualified for free or reduced-price school meals for this school year and have no changes to their mailing address do not need to take any action; P-EBT cards will automatically be mailed to them. HIDOE will provide eligibility information to DHS, who will distribute the P-EBT cards via mail.
HIDOE families that are eligible but have not yet applied for free or reduced-price school meals, can still apply by Sept. 21 at EZMealApp.com.
Qualifying families that need to update their primary mailing address should work with their school to do so by Sept. 22.
For any questions about the P-EBT program, please visit https://humanservices.hawaii.gov or contact DHS directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is P-EBT?
The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program is part of a food assistance plan approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, and authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, for eligible students who attend kindergarten through grade 12.
Who is eligible?
Students who are either enrolled for free or reduced-price school meals at a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).
Students who are enrolled in a school that provides free meals to all students through the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) or another provision.
Do I need to apply for P-EBT?
No, households do not have to apply for P-EBT. DHS will be provided the records of eligible students.
How much will families receive?
Eligible families can receive up to the following amount for each child enrolled in school:
August 2020: $136
September 2020: $150
Maximum for the two-month period of SY2020-21: $286 per child.