The extension of the Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) program under the Biden Administration’s “American Rescue Plan” to provide an incentive of up to $375 for underage students during the summer months could become permanent.
The federal Department of Agriculture (USDA) has not yet indicated a specific date when the additional funds will begin to arrive this summer.
Biden Administration Seeks to Make P-EBT Permanent
But a report Thursday on Telemundo indicates that under the $1.8 billion “Plan for American Families,” introduced by President Joe Biden in late April, the program is being sought to remain in place.
About $25 billion of the above figure would be directed solely to that program that provides families with free or reduced-price school lunches even when students are not in school.
The P-EBT program provides on average each month an additional $114 per child to families for meals they are not receiving in schools due to the disruption of face-to-face classes. The meal assistance is in addition to any other incentives such as food stamps under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Usually, students in households receiving SNAP are automatically eligible for the P-EBT incentive.
The payments of up to $375 for the summer would impact an estimated 34 million underage students, according to USDA estimates.
The Agriculture Department confirmed last Monday via a press post on its website that it will continue the payment program that would replace school meals for students. Families of eligible children would receive $6.82 per child for each day of the week. That adds up to $375 per child during the summer months.
Program was set to expire in September
P-EBT was established in March 2020 to provide money for food for students who were not taking face-to-face classes due to the pandemic. The program was supposed to expire next September 30, but with the passage of the “American Rescue Plan,” funding will now extend through the summer months and beyond.
Under the third stimulus bill, some $12 billion was allocated for expanded nutritional assistance through various programs such as the one mentioned above.
Another increase was for funds for the purchase of fruits and vegetables from recipients of the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).
Some $490 million was earmarked for this line item under ARP, approved in mid-March in the U.S. Congress.