Champaign-Urbana Area Students Who Receive Free or Reduced-Price Meals to Receive Pandemic EBT Card
Benefits to be distributed based on the number of days kids were out of school during the 2019-20 school year
The State of Illinois will be distributing funds via EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) to families with school age children from 3-17, and 18-22-year-olds (if still in high school), who receive free or reduced-price lunch meals during the school year. This includes children throughout the state of Illinois.
The benefit exists to help parents buy food for their school age children. The deadline to apply has been extended to August 31.
Who can apply?
If your child attends a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program and is eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals when school is in session, then you are eligible to receive the P-EBT card. If your child attends a school that participates in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), then you are also eligible to receive the P-EBT card. If you already receive SNAP benefits, you do NOT need to apply and are automatically eligible to receive these benefits. According to the Illinois Department of Human Services, the additional P-EBT funds will be loaded onto your card along with regular SNAP benefits.
How do I apply?
Remember, if your household is already receiving SNAP benefits, you do not need to apply and are automatically going to receive P-EBT funds.
How much will I receive and when will I receive it?
The benefit is based on the number of school closure days there were in March (10) and April (22). March and April benefits will be combined into one issuance for a total of $182.40 per eligible child. Benefits will be issued through the end of the school year.
You will receive a P-EBT LINK card in the mail with instructions on how to set up a PIN and use the card. (The timeline for dispersing these funds is still undetermined.) If you receive SNAP benefits, you will not receive an additional card and P-EBT benefits will be added to the card you already have.
A LINK card allows you to make food purchases at most grocery stores. LINK benefits can also be used at Illinois farmers markets, sometimes for double or triple their dollar value.
Note: This program is not run by your school, rather it is executed by the Illinois Department of Human Services. If you have questions, call (800) 843-6154 or visit the IDHS website.