The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) recently announced that families in the state will soon have access to a third round of food assistance for children under the age of 6, and for school-aged children.
Due to federal COVID-19 relief funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), families will have assistance with purchasing groceries while children are home during the summer of 2022.
P-EBT, also known as Pandemic EBT, are food benefits available to families with young children who are eligible for Basic Food benefits, in addition to school-aged children who are eligible for free or reduced-price school meal programs. P-EBT benefits can be used at any grocery store, farmers markets, and food retailers that accept EBT card payments.
Families are expected to start receiving benefits beginning in late July and through the end of the summer, according to DSHS, who mentioned that the first and second rounds of P-EBT benefits helped provide food security to over 400,000 Washington children in the past two years. Additionally, June census data shows that nearly 1 in 10 Washington households reported not having enough food for their household in the last 7 days.
The P-EBT Children Under 6 program is for qualifying children under the age of 6 who live in a household that receives Basic Food benefits, and they may receive $43 for each month they received Basic Food assistance from September of 2021 until June of 2022.
The Summer 2022 P-EBT program is for qualifying children under the age of 6, as well as school-aged children, who will receive a one-time lump sum of $391 per child to cover the summer period from July through August of 2022.
School-aged children who were enrolled in Washington state public K-12 schools through June of 2022, and who are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals, are eligible for Summer 2022 P-EBT benefits. Children under the age of 6 will receive benefits under this plan, as long as they receive Basic Food assistance during July and August.
DSHS states that the P-EBT Children Under 6 program and the Summer 2022 P-EBT program are separate benefits programs from a P-EBT 2021-2022 School Year program, which has not yet been approved by the USDA at this time.
In order to receive P-EBT benefits, families must complete the free and reduced-price meal program application through their school district, or apply and be approved for Basic Food assistance by August 31, 2022. Families can also sign-up for text messaging alerts about the status of their child’s P-EBT by filling out a simple verification form.
P-EBT benefits don’t replace any existing food assistance programs already offered, including free summer meals and meals provided in child care centers. Click here for more information on the P-EBT benefits program.