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Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) is a temporary food benefit available to Minnesota families with children approved for free or reduced-price school meals when school operations are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 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 operating the program in Minnesota. 

2021-2022 school-year P-EBT

Minnesota’s P-EBT plan for school-aged children for the 2021-2022 school year has been approved by the USDA. For the 2021-22 school year, students will be eligible for P-EBT benefits if: 

  • The school they attend participates in the National School Lunch Program or the Seamless Summer Option; and 
  • The student is eligible for free or reduced-priced meals.

And one or both of the following:

  • Their school closed or shifts to remote learning or has reduced hours or attendance for five consecutive days due to a COVID impact.
  • Parent reports to the school that the absence is due to a COVID impact (and school accepts it meets the criteria).

A child will receive $7.10 per day in food benefits for each school day missed due to a COVID impact. The full daily benefit level is equal to the free reimbursement for breakfast, lunch and snack for the 2021-22 school year.

For those who already have a P-EBT card, do not throw it away. The Department of Human Services will add benefits to your existing card. There is a $2 fee to replace the card. Newly eligible recipients will receive a card in the mail. Please allow up to four weeks after the department notifies you of your eligibility for P-EBT benefits to receive your new card. The department will notify you via text or email.

Families who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) or Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF) are considered pre-approved for free or reduced-price meals and do not need to complete an Application for Educational Benefits to qualify for P-EBT

Children enrolled in a school-based pre-K program are eligible for P-EBT benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions

P-EBT for 5 and Younger

P-EBT for 5 and Younger is a temporary food benefit available to Minnesota families with children who were age 5 or younger on Sept. 1, 2021, and who received SNAP, MFIP or Tribal TANF benefits. It is a federal program created to provide food assistance to families with students or children in child care facilities who did not receive meals when child care facilities were closed or had reduced hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who to call with questions?

P-EBT Call Center

The P-EBT Call Center can be reached Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Submit questions to the P-EBT Call Center through the P-EBT Help Form or by calling 651-431-4608 or 833-454-0153. Please do not submit multiple help forms on the same topic as this does not result in a faster response and slows staff’s ability to respond to others. 

The call center and help form can help you:

  • Answer general questions relating to P-EBT 
  • 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 a P-EBT card 
  • Activate a P-EBT card if your issue could not be resolved by EBT Edge.

Direct questions about eligibility for free or reduced-price school meals to your children’s schools.

EBT Edge Customer Service

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For support for existing P-EBT cards, call 888-997-2227 or visit www.ebtEDGE.com. You do not need to request a new P-EBT card for benefits for the 2021-2022 school year, as benefits will be loaded onto existing cards. 

Customer service is available 24 hours per day, seven days per week. EBT Edge can help you:

  • Activate a P-EBT 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

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 when benefits are issued to families who are eligible for P-EBT benefits. Families may 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.

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