The first week of June, the MS Pandemic Electronic Benefit (P-EBT) Plan was approved by USDA. This will provide additional assistance to families of children eligible for free or reduced-price meals dealing with school closures. This is a benefit to current SNAP participants and a new EBT benefit to other eligible households to offset the cost of meals that would have otherwise been consumed at school.
The MS Department of Human Services administers the program and has received assistance from the MS Department of Education in identifying eligible students through MSIS information. Should parents/guardians wish to update their information, such as address or contact number regarding P-EBT benefits, they will need to contact MDHS. Changes made at the school level now will not affect P-EBT.
The MDE will provide all eligible children/households to the MDHS so Pandemic EBT cards can be issued. P-EBT cards will be issued to the address on file with MDE.
Households are eligible for P-EBT because they:
Include an eligible child or children, who if not for the closure of their school during a public health emergency designation and due to concerns about a COVID-19 outbreak, would receive free or reduced-price school meals under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, as amended, and
The child’s school or district has been closed for at least 5 consecutive days during a public health emergency designation and due to concerns about a COVID-19 outbreak.
P-EBT benefits will be placed on EBT cards. SNAP households will receive P-EBT benefits on their existing card. Households that do not receive SNAP benefits will receive a P-EBT card in the mail with instructions for activating their card with a PIN number and use.
The value of the school meals is equal to the Federal reimbursement rate for breakfast and lunch at the free rate, as specified by USDA.
At this time, we estimate it will take 2-3 weeks to set up this brand new system to begin issuing EBT cards with benefits. MDHS expects to have all cards issued to households within 6-7 weeks.
For more information about the Pandemic EBT, please use the links/contact information below
P-EBT FAQ’s: https://www.mdhs.ms.gov/pandemic-ebt-guide/
SNAP/TANF Support: 800.948.3050
MDHS P-EBT Help Email: PEBT@mdhs.ms.gov