$2.5 billion in pandemic food benefits available to Texas families

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a second round of federal Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer food benefits for families with children who have temporarily lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to COVID-19 during the 2020-21 school year.

Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer provides a benefit of up to $1,200 per child for the school year. The amount of the benefit is based on the school the child attends and is determined by the number of days that most students at that school received remote instruction during the current school year.

Benefits can be used in the same way as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits to pay for groceries.

In this second round of Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT), Texas received federal approval to provide more than $2.5 billion in benefits to approximately 3.7 million eligible children. The first round of P-EBT was distributed last summer and provided more than $1 billion in food benefits to more than 3 million children.

Most families who receive SNAP benefits do not need to apply and will automatically receive Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer benefits on their Lone Star Card by May 28. Families who received SNAP benefits for the first time during the 2020-21 school year in May or June 2021 and have children born on or before Aug. 1, 2014, need to apply.

To learn more, visit the Health and Human Services website or call 833-442-1255.