Texas families approved for 4th round of pandemic food benefits

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A fourth round of electronic pandemic benefit transfer (P-EBT) food benefits for Texans has been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to a state release.

The benefits will help Texas families with children who have lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to COVID-19.

The statement said a student must be approved for free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program or have COVID-related absences, virtual attendance or campus closures to be eligible.

The P-EBT is based on the number of days the student has not received in-person instruction due to COVID-19. Families will receive $7.10 each approved day. Receiving free school meals does not automatically qualify a child for P-EBT, the statement said.

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission has received federal approval to provide more than $626 million in benefits to approximately 2.1 million eligible children in Texas for the 2021-22 school year. To date, HHSC has distributed approximately $6.13 billion in P-EBT food benefits to Texas families, the statement said.

Families currently receiving SNAP and those who have received P-EBT in the past will receive benefits on their existing Lone Star or P-EBT card. Eligible families who are not currently receiving SNAP and who have never received P-EBT will be mailed a notice with a claim code as additional information is required to issue benefits, the statement said.

Some families will start receiving benefits as early as April 18. Other families could receive their benefits starting in July, the statement said.

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