Food Assistance for School Children in NYS 


What is P-EBT?
New York State provides Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) food benefits to all households with children who receive free lunch under the National School Lunch Act and whose school was closed or operating with reduced in-school attendance due to COVID-19.  P-EBT food benefits are provided to families to help cover the cost of meals children would have received at school.   The P-EBT food benefit distribution will continue.


Governor Cuomo announced on June 14 that food benefits will be issued to children enrolled to receive free school meals but had their in-person school attendance reduced due to the pandemic during the 2020-2021 school year. Families do not need to apply for the benefits, which will be distributed in two phases: one beginning now and extending through late July (that will cover fall semester benefits); and another beginning sometime in late July and extending through August (that will cover spring semester benefits.)


Who is eligible for P-EBT food benefits?
All children who receive free school lunches are eligible for P-EBT food benefits as long as the school has been operating with reduced in-person attendance due to COVID-19 during the 2020-2021 school year.  Because Schenectady City School District is a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school district, all students who were enrolled are eligible.  Therefore, even if you were not eligible in the past, you will be eligible now if you were enrolled during the timeframe.


How much is my benefit?

Eligible children will receive P-EBT benefits based on the number of days their school has reported that it was closed or that in-person attendance was reduced due to COVID-19. There are two different amounts that an eligible child may receive:


Children that participated in remote learning for more than 12 school days during a given month will receive $132 for that month. 


Children who learned remotely for at least one school day but no more than 12 days in each month will receive $82 for that month.


How do I get my benefits?

Eligible children who are in families that are enrolled in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will see their benefits posted to their household’s regular EBT card.


Eligible children who are currently enrolled in Medicaid and previously accessed and redeemed their P-EBT food benefits will receive their benefits on the same NYS Medicaid card.


Eligible children who successfully accessed their food benefits on a P-EBT card will receive their food benefits on the same P-EBT Food Benefit Card.


The households of all other eligible children will be mailed a P-EBT Benefit Card with instruction explaining how to activate the card and access food benefits. 


The families of children who received P-EBT cards by mail for the first-round last year will see the latest round of benefits posted to the same card if they are still eligible.  If you no longer have these cards, you may request a replacement by contacting the automated P-EBT helpline at 1-888-328-6399.


When will my child receive the benefits?

Benefits will be distributed in two phases: one beginning in June and extending through late July (that will cover fall semester benefits); and another beginning sometime in late July and extending through August (that will cover spring semester benefits.)



Are P-EBT benefits the same as SNAP benefits? 

No, P-EBT food benefits are not SNAP benefits.  They can only be used to purchase the same food items that can be purchased with SNAP benefits.  A list of food items that may be purchased with food benefits can be found at http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/eligible-food-items/.


Where can I get more information?

New York State Website with information on P-EBT Benefits





Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2021 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.