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Pandemic EBT providing additional food benefits to eligible families with children

5/29/2020 12:00:00 PM

Many children in Minnesota rely on free or reduced-price school meals, and when schools closed statewide due to COVID-19, these children were missing an important source of nutritious food. To compensate, the federal government has approved Minnesota to issue Pandemic EBT: a one-time food benefit for families with children who would have otherwise received free or reduced-price school meals.

Families are eligible for P-EBT benefits if they have a child or children who were between the ages of 5 and 18 as of Sept. 1, 2019, and:

  • They were receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) benefits as of March 18, 2020; and/or
  • Their child was enrolled in school and receiving free or reduced-price school meals during the 2019-2020 school year.

Eligible families who had an open SNAP or MFIP case as of March 18, 2020, will receive P-EBT benefits automatically on their existing Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards. They do not need to request a different card or take any action.

Eligible families with children who received free or reduced-price school meals this past year – but who did not have an open SNAP or MFIP case as of March 18 – must apply online for a P-EBT card any time between June 8 and July 31, 2020. They can apply at If approved, families will receive a Minnesota P-EBT card in the mail within 10 business days with instructions to activate the card. All eligible families will receive P-EBT benefits as long as they apply by July 31.

Households eligible for P-EBT will receive $325 in food benefits for each child who was between the ages of 5 and 18 as of Sept. 1, 2019. The benefit amount represents the value of school lunches that children would have received during the school closures.

For more information on P-EBT, view these /dhs/p-ebt/faqs/index.jspanswers to frequently asked questions about the program.

Beginning June 1, families can contact the P-EBT hotline with questions:

  • 651-431-4050 or 800-657-3698
  • Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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