The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration and the Indiana Department of Education sent “Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer” benefits to families whose children receive free or reduced-cost meals at school. These benefits are to reimburse the families of about 600,000 Indiana children for the cost of meals that their children were unable to receive due to COVID- 19 school closures.
P-EBT cards arrived in the mail in a white envelope addressed to the student and several local parents indicated that they almost threw the envelope away, believing it to be junk mail. Some families are hesitant to use the cards, feeling that they are not needed in their family situation. While giving the benefits card to another person is not lawful, many local food pantries have asked for families to consider using it for their groceries and donating excess or their typical food budget money to a local food pantry.
Free & Reduced Lunch Reimbursement
If you qualify and your family does not currently receive SNAP, you were to receive an electronic benefits transfer card in the mail by the end of May, along with instructions on how to activate and use the card. This is not a benefit that you have to apply for, it was automatically sent or applied to your existing SNAP benefits. The P-EBT card functions just like a debit card and can be used at any store that accepts SNAP, but you will not be able to use the card for cash withdrawals at ATM machines.
Pandemic EBT for Indianapolis Families
“For P-EBT, each household will receive an amount equal to the value of the daily allotment for breakfast and lunch multiplied by the average number of school days missed since school was cancelled. Families will receive this amount for each eligible child in the household for the number of days the child was eligible for free and reduced lunch. The value of the school meals per day is equal to the federal reimbursement rate for breakfast and lunch at the free rate, which is $5.70, as specified by the United States Department of Agriculture. (in.gov)”
Related: On June 3rd, it was announced that SNAP recipients now have the ability to use Hoosier Works EBT cards to purchase groceries online for pickup or delivery at Walmart and through Amazon. This change is automatic and no application is necessary. Delivery fees may not be paid for using SNAP benefits.