Six weeks ago, Oregon received approval to implement Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) benefits, which provides food benefits for students who lost access to free meals through a school participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) when they suddenly closed due to COVID-19.
Families may receive up to $384 per eligible child and the actual food benefit amount is based on the date the child became eligible for free or reduced meals at school.
In order to receive the benefits, Oregon school districts must provide the eligibility information to the Department of Education – most have done this. Now, additional data collection efforts are underway for families who applied for free or reduced lunch after schools closed, moved or were not included on initial lists. This work is expected to continue through August and into September.
“We are asking families to please wait until September 15 to contact us if they haven’t received their benefits or Oregon Trail Card,” requested Dan Haun. “After September 15, we will be able to review individual cases and help any families still waiting.
"We are working around the clock to make sure families get the assistance they need to help put food on the table.”
Pandemic-EBT is a partnership between the Department of Human Services and the Oregon Department of Education, Child Nutrition Program. Bringing these additional food benefits to families struggling during this pandemic would not be possible without the dedicated work being done in school districts throughout the state to provide eligibility information. This local and statewide collaboration is crucial to making these benefits available.