MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR) on Tuesday announced plans to issue Summer Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) benefits to an estimated 530,000 children who receive free or reduced-price school meals through the National School Lunch Program.
Qualifying households will get $120 for each participating student to buy SNAP-eligible food at stores that accept Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards. The benefits are expected to start rolling out in mid-to-late summer.
“Inflation has transformed each grocery trip into a balancing act for low-income families struggling to afford food for their children on top of other costs like housing and transportation,” said Alabama DHR Commissioner Nancy Buckner. “Every dollar of support from programs like P-EBT strengthens their spending power and weakens the prospect of hunger, while promoting nutritious meals for children.”
Summer P-EBT benefits are limited to students who receive free or reduced-price meals from the National School Lunch Program by application or through the Community Eligibility Provision, Provision 2 or Provision 3.
To become eligible for Summer P-EBT, families may apply for the National School Lunch Program by contacting their schools. Applications for the lunch program must be approved by May 16 to qualify for Summer P-EBT benefits. Families should contact their schools with any questions about eligibility.
Households with eligible students who received P-EBT benefits previously will access Summer P-EBT benefits on their existing EBT cards. Those who are new to the National School Lunch Program will get EBT cards in the mail. All recipients should keep their EBT cards in case additional benefits are added in the future.
Eligible families are encouraged to monitor dhr.alabama.gov for updates, including information about a timeframe for the arrival of benefits.
DHR oversees the distribution of P-EBT benefits with assistance from the Alabama State Department of Education. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service administers the program at the federal level.
Support specialists are available to answer questions about P-EBT by phone at 1-800-410-5827 and online at dhr.alabama.gov/food-assistance/ from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.