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
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.