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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 program update

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).

For those who received a P-EBT card for the 2020-2021 school year, 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. 

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

No decision has yet been made about P-EBT for child care and children 5 years and younger.

All scheduled school-based, 5 and younger and Summer P-EBT benefits have been issued for the 2020-2021 school year and summer. The Department of Human Services will no longer look back for missed payments.

Continue to watch this webpage for updates to the 2021-2022 school year P-EBT program.

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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