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Summer food aid on its way to Minnesota children

7/16/2021 10:19:59 AM

Coming soon: Summer benefits to support healthy nutrition for about 385,000 Minnesota children while school meal programs are on break.

Their families will receive over $170 million through a summer program recently approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This year’s Summer Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program supports food purchases for June through August, when school-age children who rely on free and reduced-price school meals may lack access to healthy foods. Summer P-EBT benefits will also go to children ages 5 and younger enrolled in nutrition and economic assistance programs.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services will begin issuing Summer P-EBT benefits later this month in lump sum payments of $430 per child.

“The end of the school year shouldn’t leave children without access to healthy food,” said Human Services Commissioner Jodi Harpstead. “Summer P-EBT will make it easier for their families to provide nutritious meals, without added financial stress.”

Summer P-EBT will go to:

  • Children approved for free or reduced-price meals during the 2020-21 school year, who were also enrolled in the last month of the school year, no matter what learning model their school was using, and
  • Children age 5 and younger who were enrolled in June or July in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) or Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF).

“It’s critical to make sure that Minnesota children don’t fall behind in their learning and development over the summer,” said Education Commissioner Heather Mueller. “Ensuring access to nutritious food is an important part of that effort.”

Families will receive Summer P-EBT on their existing P-EBT card, or EBT card for those enrolled in SNAP, MFIP and Tribal TANF. Newly eligible families will receive a new card in the mail.

More children may receive Summer P-EBT benefits this fall, even if they weren’t eligible during the 2020-21 school year, in these cases:

  • If they are approved by Sept. 3, 2021, for free or reduced-price school meals for the 2021-22 school year through the National School Lunch Program, or
  • If they enroll in SNAP, MFIP or Tribal TANF after July benefits are issued and before Sept. 3, 2021.

DHS will notify families eligible for Summer P-EBT by text message, email or mail. Families can sign up for text messages by completing the P-EBT Help Form.

General information about P-EBT is available through the P-EBT Hotline, at 651-431-4608 or 833-454-0153, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. For assistance in multiple languages, complete the P-EBT Help Form, or call the hotline.

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