DCF Program Updates
Florida’s Pandemic-EBT Program
In collaboration with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Florida Department of Education
Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) Program
The United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) recently granted Florida the authority to issue P-EBT benefits to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and non-SNAP households with one or more students who have temporarily lost access to free and reduced-price meals at school due to COVID-19 school closures and distance learning.
In 2020, the Florida Department of Children and Families’ (DCF) Office of Economic Self-Sufficiency (ESS) worked in collaboration with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) and the Florida Department of Education (DOE) to issue 2.2 million Florida students more than $687 million in P-EBT benefits.
For the 2020-2021 school year, DCF estimates the P-EBT program will provide assistance to an estimated 1.2 million Florida distance learning students.
P-EBT Eligibility Criteria
Through P-EBT, eligible students receive temporary emergency nutrition benefits on an Electronic Benefits Card that can be used to purchase food at participating retailers. A student is eligible for the 2020-2021 P-EBT benefits if the following conditions are met:
- The student attends a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program and the school was closed or operating with reduced hours or attendance for at least 5 consecutive days due to COVID-19.
- The student did not have access to free or reduced-price meals because they are participating in distance learning.
- Meet one of the following conditions:
- The student receives SNAP (food assistance), TANF (temporary cash assistance) or Medicaid (Directly Certified by FDACS for the NSLP), or
- The student is enrolled in a school that provides free lunch to all students as a Community Eligibility Provision school or a school operating under Provisions 2 or 3, or
- The student is determined eligible for the National School Lunch program by the school district through an application.
Florida’s Issuance Plan
For households with eligible students receiving SNAP benefits, P-EBT benefits will be added to their existing EBT cards. Households not currently receiving SNAP benefits will receive a new P-EBT card in the mail with benefits automatically loaded and a personal identification number (PIN) with set up instructions.
Households can use P-EBT benefits to buy breads, cereals, fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, dairy, and plants and seeds to grow food for your household to eat. Households cannot use P-EBT benefits to buy nonfood items such as pet foods, soaps, paper products, household supplies, grooming items, alcoholic beverages, tobacco, vitamins, medicines, food to eat in the store, or hot foods.
Students will receive $6.82 per day based on the number of days they were enrolled in distance learning and did not have access to free or reduced-price meals.
If you have a school age student who was receiving free and reduced-price school meals and did not receive the P-EBT benefit or you have questions about your student’s P-EBT benefit, you may call 1-833-311-0321.
We are working quickly to issue benefits. If you have not received your P-EBT benefit by June 1, or your student has been determined not eligible for the P-EBT benefit or you think you received an incorrect amount of P-EBT, you can complete the online form to request a review of your student’s eligibility. P-EBT online form
For the most up-to-date information, visit DCF’s COVID-19 Webpage: https://www.myflfamilies.com/covid19/access.shtml