skip to content
Primary navigation
illustration_food-1200x800

Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) is a temporary food benefit available to Minnesota families with children who would have received free or reduced-price meals if schools were open. During the 2019-2020 school year and the following summer, more than 265,000 Minnesota children received P-EBT benefits. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) authorizes the P-EBT program. The Minnesota Department of Human Services and Minnesota Department of Education collaborate in the operation of the program in Minnesota.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for the 2020-2021 P-EBT Program?

To be eligible, K-12 students must qualify for free or reduced-price meals and their school must also meet certain requirements. Students qualify for free or reduced-price meals in one of three ways:

  • Receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) or Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF) benefits
  • Enrolled in a Community Eligibility Provision school 
  • Approved for free or reduced-price school meals through the Application for Education Benefits at the child’s school. 

In addition, their school must meet certain requirements for each month of benefits. Qualifying students receive monthly benefits when:

  • The school reports distance learning for a majority of the month OR
  • The school reports hybrid learning for a majority of the month OR
  • The student elected distance learning for at least 11 days in a month.

Students who chose to participate in distance learning this year will receive $130 for each month they were doing distance learning for at least 19 school days in the month and $75 for each month they were doing distance learning for between 11 and 18 school days.

How much will I receive? When and how will I receive it? 

For eligible children in qualifying schools, benefits will be calculated based on whether the school was in a distance or hybrid status for the majority of the month. As a result, families will receive different benefit amounts, and some families may receive different benefit amounts for each child. Benefits will be retroactive to September 2020.

  • Students who spent the majority of the month in distance learning will receive $130 in P-EBT benefits for that month. 
  • Students who spent the majority of the month in hybrid learning will receive $75 in P-EBT benefits for that month. 
  • Students who spent the majority of the month doing in-person learning will not receive P-EBT benefits for that month. 

Students who chose to participate in distance learning this year will receive $130 for each month they were doing distance learning for at least 19 school days in the month and $75 for each month they were doing distance learning for between 11 and 18 school days.

Please see the frequently asked questions page for more details.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services expects to begin issuing P-EBT benefits in mid-April 2021. The first mailing of P-EBT cards will only include cards for children whose school submitted data by March 5. P-EBT cards for children whose school submits data after March 5 will be issued in later months. One new P-EBT card per child will be mailed to the address on file with child’s school. Please contact the P-EBT Hotline if your address has changed. Cards will be labeled with the child’s name and P-EBT case number. 

After the initial benefits are issued in mid-April, additional benefits will be issued monthly on the same card for the remainder of the school year.

What do I need to do now?

To receive benefits, your child must be enrolled in SNAP, the Minnesota Family Investment Program, Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or approved for free or reduced-price school meals through their school. There is no separate P-EBT application process for school year 2020-2021. 

Your family’s eligibility for the 2020-2021 P-EBT program may be different from your eligibility for the 2019-2020 P-EBT program. To ensure your child is considered for benefits covering the full school year:

  • Make sure your school has your current address and contact information
  • Apply for free or reduced-price school meals by asking your school for an Application for Educational Benefits if you are not already approved for free or reduced-price meals for the 2020-2021 school year.

If you have questions, please contact your child’s school.

illustration_food-1200x800

Who to call with questions?

P-EBT Hotline

The 2020-2021 P-EBT Hotline is now open. The hotline can be reached Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can submit questions to the hotline through the P-EBT Help Form or call 651-431-4608 or 1-833-454-0153.

The hotline and help form can help you:

  • Answer general questions relating to P-EBT 
  • Sign up for or opt out of P-EBT texting 
  • Change the address where your P-EBT card will be sent 
  • Understand notifications you received from the P-EBT program 
  • Answer questions about the amount and timing of benefits issued to your card 
  • Activate your card, if your issue could not be resolved by EBT Edge.

Questions about eligibility for free or reduced-price school meals should be directed to your child’s school.

EBT Edge Customer Service

p-ebt-card

For support for existing P-EBT cards, call 888-997-2227 or visit www.ebtEDGE.com. Please note, you will not need to request a new P-EBT card for 2020-2021 benefits, as new cards will be issued automatically. Customer service is available 24 hours per day, seven days per week. EBT Edge can help you:

  • Activate your card
  • Replace a lost or stolen card
  • Check your balance
  • Access transactions such as benefit issuances

View How to use your MN EBT Card (PDF)

The EBT Edge mobile application is available for IOS and Android at www.FISGLOBAL.COM/EBTEDGEMOBILE.

Text notification system instructions

Beginning March 15-19, the Minnesota Department of Human Services will send text messages to families of children who are approved for P-EBT benefits and who provided their school with a valid cell phone number. Texts will be sent each month to any family who is eligible to receive either a new P-EBT benefit or a continuing P-EBT benefit. Families will be able to opt out of texting by responding “STOP” at any time.  

Additional information about P-EBT texting, including a phone number and email address families can contact for assistance, as well as privacy information is available on our P-EBT texting webpage.

back to top