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CBPP/FRAC P-EBT Documentation Project Shows How States Implemented a New Program to Provide Food Benefits to Up to 30 Million Low-Income School Children

andemic EBT (P-EBT) is a new state option to address the food needs of low-income children during COVID-related school closures.

Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) is a new state option launched in the spring of 2020 under authority provided in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address the food needs of low-income children during COVID-related school closures. Under P-EBT, states provide directly to families receiving free or reduced-price school meals the value of missed breakfasts and lunches via a SNAP-like benefit card. Every state, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands implemented P-EBT. Legislation enacted October 1, 2020 extended P-EBT through September 30, 2021 and made other modifications to the program.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Food Research & Action Center conducted a rapid assessment project to document the development and implementation of P-EBT benefits covering the spring of 2020. The project identified the various approaches states took to implement P-EBT, as well as key preliminary lessons state officials and other stakeholders have learned. This information will help states to strengthen implementation efforts for the FY2020-2021 school year. We’ve posted the information we gathered below; we will continue to update this page with additional analyses and resources.

Lessons Learned

Detailed Report from Koné Consulting

State-specific profile tables with key aspects of each state's P-EBT implementation approach

Case studies of 8 states

Coming soon

Congressional Inaction on P-EBT Exacerbates Hardship

Resource library

Spreadsheet with underlying information collected on key aspects of each state’s P-EBT implementation approach

Coming soon

 
APPENDIX TABLE 1
Number of schoolchildren in households with children where the household sometimes or often didn’t have enough to eat in the last 7 days and children sometimes or often didn’t have enough to eat because the adults couldn’t afford enough food
State  
Alabama 114,500
Alaska 12,500
Arizona 132,200
Arkansas 74,100
California 657,700
Colorado 51,200
Connecticut 52,200
Delaware 14,900
District of Columbia 17,600
Florida 353,500
Georgia 247,100
Hawai’i 23,400
Idaho 33,000
Illinois 237,300
Indiana 115,800
Iowa 34,700
Kansas 32,300
Kentucky 79,300
Louisiana 136,800
Maine 14,900
Maryland 102,400
Massachusetts 69,800
Michigan 186,500
Minnesota 82,400
Mississippi 87,000
Missouri 69,200
Montana 15,900
Nebraska 20,300
Nevada 101,400
New Hampshire 15,700
New Jersey 118,300
New Mexico 67,100
New York 241,400
North Carolina 225,700
North Dakota 4,900
Ohio 156,900
Oklahoma 57,500
Oregon 42,200
Pennsylvania 137,100
Rhode Island 17,800
South Carolina 110,300
South Dakota 24,900
Tennessee 145,400
Texas 729,100
Utah 34,600
Vermont 6,500
Virginia 120,400
Washington 105,100
West Virginia 19,600
Wisconsin 90,500
Wyoming 7,000
Total 5,647,700

Note: Data collected July 2 to July 21, 2020 for children enrolled in a public or private school in February 2020. Figures are a three-week average. As recommended by the Census Bureau, the estimates exclude persons not replying to the question. Totals may not match due to rounding.

Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analysis of Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey public use files for survey weeks 10 - 12, https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/household-pulse-survey/datasets.html.

APPENDIX TABLE 2
Three-year averages of the number of children between 5 and 17 years of age in households at or below 130% of the federal poverty level, by race/ethnicity, 2016-2018
State Asian, not Latino Black, not Latino Latino (of any race) White, not Latino Another race or multiple races, not Latino
Alabama 1,700 114,400 30,300 87,500 10,600
Alaska * * 2,500 6,400 11,200
Arizona 4,000 18,100 200,100 72,500 43,300
Arkansas 1,200 44,100 29,000 75,400 9,500
California 107,400 113,300 1,180,700 210,400 65,000
Colorado 4,400 10,000 87,000 56,100 9,700
Connecticut 3,200 17,900 47,600 26,500 4,500
Delaware * 12,100 8,600 8,200 1,900
District of Columbia * 20,600 3,900 * *
Florida 13,600 244,600 330,800 216,400 38,700
Georgia 10,400 239,600 114,500 128,400 25,800
Hawai’i 3,800 * 6,500 3,200 19,800
Idaho * * 21,800 45,900 3,600
Illinois 13,600 135,800 172,200 145,200 18,900
Indiana 6,500 58,400 47,600 146,800 19,700
Iowa 2,300 13,200 15,900 56,700 6,100
Kansas 2,400 10,600 31,400 51,400 9,600
Kentucky 2,300 31,100 20,000 146,700 11,400
Louisiana 2,500 165,900 19,500 80,800 13,200
Maine * 2,800 1,000 31,200 2,500
Maryland 6,100 73,100 33,300 37,600 10,300
Massachusetts 10,500 25,100 75,100 55,300 9,900
Michigan 8,900 120,100 49,500 195,000 27,000
Minnesota 11,200 39,300 28,500 61,700 15,900
Mississippi 700 119,300 9,400 50,700 7,400
Missouri 2,700 59,500 22,500 146,100 20,700
Montana * * 1,500 23,900 10,100
Nebraska 2,400 7,800 24,200 28,800 4,400
Nevada 5,400 19,900 69,300 24,100 10,500
New Hampshire * 1,200 3,200 17,200 *
New Jersey 12,300 59,400 122,100 64,500 10,000
New Mexico * 1,900 85,900 16,100 21,300
New York 61,300 156,500 281,900 234,100 32,000
North Carolina 9,300 160,200 129,100 147,200 29,800
North Dakota * * 1,500 9,000 5,800
Ohio 5,800 133,500 46,500 247,100 41,800
Oklahoma 2,000 26,500 52,900 75,300 45,700
Oregon 3,700 5,700 54,500 68,400 11,500
Pennsylvania 13,300 105,000 96,900 204,800 27,600
Rhode Island 600 3,500 15,600 10,700 2,200
South Carolina 1,700 114,900 35,900 73,900 13,000
South Dakota * 1,700 2,800 13,500 15,400
Tennessee 3,500 96,400 44,900 147,500 14,200
Texas 30,200 218,300 1,025,800 217,200 33,900
Utah 1,900 3,700 36,200 54,500 7,800
Vermont * * * 13,400 *
Virginia 8,300 89,200 45,800 89,000 16,000
Washington 10,000 17,600 86,700 84,000 29,900
West Virginia * 4,500 2,000 70,100 5,500
Wisconsin 6,700 40,600 37,500 83,600 16,300
Wyoming 0 * 3,600 10,900 2,100
Total 405,000 2,959,700 4,895,900 4,170,900 825,100

* Sample size would be insufficient even with three years of data.

Note: Totals may not match due to rounding.

Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analysis of 2016-2018 American Community Survey public use microdata samples.

APPENDIX TABLE 3
Three-year averages of the number of children between 5 and 17 years of age in households at or below 185% of the federal poverty level, by race/ethnicity, 2016-2018
State Asian, not Latino Black, not Latino Latino (of any race) White, not Latino Another race or multiple races, not Latino
Alabama 2,400 151,500 38,900 135,100 14,400
Alaska 2,900 * 3,200 10,500 16,200
Arizona 6,900 26,200 290,900 114,800 59,300
Arkansas 1,800 59,100 41,700 117,700 14,400
California 169,200 147,200 1,728,600 313,900 93,300
Colorado 7,500 16,000 139,500 88,900 15,000
Connecticut 6,000 26,200 69,600 43,800 8,300
Delaware * 17,900 12,300 13,100 2,700
District of Columbia * 27,700 4,700 600 *
Florida 22,900 348,600 479,600 346,900 56,200
Georgia 17,300 322,000 155,800 206,800 37,400
Hawai’i 6,800 * 11,500 5,300 30,000
Idaho * * 33,500 79,400 6,300
Illinois 20,600 177,400 266,000 225,800 28,300
Indiana 8,300 80,200 72,600 235,600 26,400
Iowa 4,800 17,000 24,000 96,700 9,900
Kansas 3,200 16,300 51,000 84,700 14,600
Kentucky 4,200 41,100 24,500 209,900 16,400
Louisiana 4,000 203,400 27,400 117,800 17,300
Maine * 3,500 1,700 48,500 3,600
Maryland 10,400 108,700 54,300 59,900 14,900
Massachusetts 16,000 35,700 97,900 83,700 13,700
Michigan 11,300 155,000 73,200 303,200 39,400
Minnesota 18,500 52,300 42,600 111,700 24,000
Mississippi 1,600 149,900 13,300 77,100 9,400
Missouri 4,500 77,800 33,500 227,300 28,500
Montana * * 2,900 39,200 14,000
Nebraska 3,500 9,700 35,800 54,500 7,700
Nevada 8,100 26,400 105,500 39,800 15,100
New Hampshire 1,700 1,200 4,200 29,500 1,400
New Jersey 19,100 83,700 173,100 103,600 14,000
New Mexico 900 2,300 118,500 24,800 29,000
New York 87,300 210,900 379,200 344,600 44,900
North Carolina 14,100 219,600 174,100 227,300 43,900
North Dakota * 1,900 2,100 17,000 7,100
Ohio 8,700 176,400 61,400 386,200 55,400
Oklahoma 4,400 34,900 71,700 116,400 66,400
Oregon 5,900 7,200 77,300 106,600 16,100
Pennsylvania 19,700 135,600 129,700 317,600 35,400
Rhode Island 1,000 5,300 21,400 16,600 3,400
South Carolina 3,100 151,300 46,700 124,000 17,600
South Dakota * 2,100 4,100 22,800 17,900
Tennessee 5,300 126,800 61,000 234,300 21,100
Texas 46,600 303,400 1,450,100 349,200 50,900
Utah 2,500 3,900 54,200 105,800 12,300
Vermont * * * 21,600 1,700
Virginia 15,400 121,000 72,400 140,400 24,000
Washington 16,100 23,700 130,000 141,400 43,600
West Virginia * 5,600 2,900 99,100 7,600
Wisconsin 9,100 51,800 52,100 142,100 22,300
Wyoming 0 * 5,400 19,400 2,900
Total 627,700 3,969,200 7,027,900 6,582,500 1,176,100

* Sample size would be insufficient even with three years of data.

Note: The estimates in grey have low unweighted sample sizes. Totals may not match due to rounding.

Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analysis of 2016-2018 American Community Survey public use microdata samples.

APPENDIX TABLE 4
Children eligible for P-EBT benefits, the maximum benefit per child, and the potential total amount of benefits to households statewide, 2019-2020 school year
State Number of
eligible children
Maximum
P-EBT benefit per child
Potential total benefits
to households
Alabama 420,395 $313.50 $132 million
Alaska 73,000 $458.00 $33 million
Arizona 703,000 $315.00 $220 million
Arkansas 303,120 $319.00 $97 million
California 3,927,173 $365.00 $1,433 million
Colorado 356,099 $279.00 $99 million
Connecticut 289,407 $364.80 $106 million
Delaware 61,602 $370.50 $23 million
District of Columbia 86,415 $387.60 $33 million
Florida 2,065,374 $313.50 $647 million
Georgia 1,100,000 $256.50 $282 million
Hawai’i 93,297 $360.00 $34 million
Idaho 130,000 $302.00 $39 million
Illinois 1,099,786 $342.00 $376 million
Indiana 588,127 $319.00 $188 million
Iowa 249,404 $307.80 $77 million
Kansas 169,795 $291.00 $49 million
Kentucky 601,551 $313.50 $189 million
Louisiana 732,204 $285.00 $209 million
Maine 84,000 $383.00 $32 million
Maryland 430,954 $370.50 $160 million
Massachusetts 522,000 $399.00 $203 million
Michigan 829,722 $376.00 $312 million
Minnesota 349,952 $425.00 $149 million
Mississippi 345,827 $267.90 $93 million
Missouri 454,690 $302.00 $137 million
Montana 48,385 $330.00 $16 million
Nebraska 156,257 $281.00 $44 million
Nevada 334,000 $296.00 $99 million
New Hampshire 45,190 $376.00 $17 million
New Jersey 594,207 $416.10 $247 million
New Mexico 245,000 $399.00 $98 million
New York 2,077,711 $420.00 $873 million
North Carolina 903,320 $370.00 $334 million
North Dakota 39,760 $273.00 $11 million
Ohio 850,000 $302.10 $257 million
Oklahoma 312,021 $250.80 $78 million
Oregon 351,000 $384.00 $135 million
Pennsylvania 991,843 $370.50 $367 million
Rhode Island 74,622 $387.60 $29 million
South Carolina 467,000 $330.00 $154 million
South Dakota 62,000 $285.00 $18 million
Tennessee 615,610 $250.80 $154 million
Texas 3,641,635 $285.00 $1,038 million
Utah 75,000 $308.00 $23 million
Vermont 39,000 $387.60 $15 million
Virgin Islands 13,000 $379.00 $5 million
Virginia 594,494 $376.00 $224 million
Washington 560,267 $399.00 $224 million
West Virginia 204,542 $313.50 $64 million
Wisconsin 438,000 $324.90 $142 million
Wyoming 36,271 $285.00 $10 million
Total 29,800,000 $330.00 (median) $10 billion

Source: The number of eligible children is from publicly available information on state websites or in press releases. The maximum P-EBT benefit per child amounts are from USDA FNS P-EBT approval letters and SNAP agencies. The potential total benefits to households are calculated by multiplying the number of eligible children by the maximum benefit amount per child. State SNAP agencies were offered an opportunity to review each element in this table to confirm or update information. We will update this information to reflect any corrections or clarifications we receive from states.

APPENDIX TABLE 5
Overview of states’ P-EBT implementation for the 2019-2020 school year
State Plan approval date Benefit issuance date range Method for issuing P-EBT benefits to eligible children not receiving SNAP (or other selected benefits)a
Direct issuance Application
Alabama 4/21/20 May - September X Xb
Alaska 6/5/20 August - September   X
Arizona 4/17/20 May - August X Xc
Arkansas 5/21/20 June - September X Xd
California 4/23/20 May - August   X
Colorado 5/18/20 July - September   X
Connecticut 4/24/20 May - June X  
Delaware 4/30/20 May - June X  
District of Columbia 5/19/20 May - August X  
Florida 5/27/20 June - September X  
Georgia 6/5/20 July - September   X
Hawai’i 5/28/20 June - July X  
Idaho 8/14/20 August - September X  
Illinois 4/17/20 April - September   X
Indiana 5/14/20 May - Unknown X  
Iowa 6/5/20 July - August X  
Kansas 4/25/20 May - September   Xe
Kentucky 5/19/20 May - September   X
Louisiana 5/14/20 June - September   X
Maine 5/5/20 May - July   X
Maryland 4/28/20 May - June X  
Massachusetts 4/17/20 April - June X  
Michigan 4/9/20 April - September X  
Minnesota 5/27/20 June - September   X
Mississippi 6/2/20 June - August X  
Missouri 5/15/20 May - September   X
Montana 6/26/20 July - September X Xf
Nebraska 6/16/20 July - September   X
Nevada 7/09/20 July - September X  
New Hampshire 5/12/20 Unknown - September   X
New Jersey 5/8/20 July - September X  
New Mexico 4/28/20 June - September X  
New York 5/6/20 May - September X  
North Carolina 4/16/20 May - June X  
North Dakota 5/1/20 May - September   X
Ohio 5/11/20 June - September X  
Oklahoma 6/26/20 July - August X  
Oregon 4/29/20 May - September X  
Pennsylvania 5/8/20 May - August X  
Rhode Island 4/10/20 April - June X  
South Carolina 6/17/20 July - September X  
South Dakota 6/18/20 June - August   X
Tennessee 5/19/20 June - September   X
Texas 5/8/20 May - September   X
Utah 7/9/20 July - September   X
Vermont 5/4/20 May - September X  
Virgin Islands 6/10/20 August - September X  
Virginia 4/25/20 May - June X  
Washington 5/22/20 June - September   X
West Virginia 4/30/20 May - September X  
Wisconsin 4/22/20 May - September   X
Wyoming 5/16/20 June - July   X
Total     31 25

a All states except Louisiana and Wyoming directly issued benefits to children in households receiving SNAP benefit without requiring a parent/guardian to take any action, such as submitting an application. Some states referred to this as “automatic issuance.” It includes benefits loaded onto existing SNAP cards and benefits loaded onto new P-EBT cards that were mailed to families. Some states directly issued benefits to children in households receiving other benefits, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families cash assistance, Medicaid, Foster Care, services for homeless, runaway, or migrant students, or Head Start.

b Opt-in letter for children attending schools operating under the Community Eligibility Provision who were not directly certified

c For newly eligible children and those missed by direct issuance

d For private schools that do not report on the E-school platform

e Referred to as a registration portal

f For children missed by direct issuance

Sources: Plan approval dates are from the Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service P-EBT approval letters and SNAP agencies. Benefit issuance dates are from publicly available information on state websites or in press releases. Whether an application was required was confirmed through a nationwide survey. State SNAP agencies were offered an opportunity to review each element in this table to confirm or update information. We will update this information to reflect any corrections or clarifications we receive from states.


Also see www.frac.org/pebt.