Minnesota launches new P-EBT cards

Samantha Boring
Created: April 08, 2021 07:15 AM

(ABC 6 NEWS) - Minnesota families are getting financial support from the federal government through Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Benefits also known as P-EBT. 
If your child receives free or reduced during the school year you may have received a P-EBT card. These are funds that can be used for distance or hybrid students to purchase food that would normally be supplied at school. The cards were sent out this past week to about 385,000 Minnesota families. Whether or not you get the funds depends on what learning model your school is using. 
"If you are fully distance learning that will be one rate. I think it starts at $130 a month. Then depending on how many days each week your school is in person or if it's hybrid then I think it goes down to $75," said Acting Assistant Commissioner of Children's and Family Services in the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Lisa Bayley. 
These funds are retroactive payments that go back to September 2020. Families will receive two months of funds at a time. In Austin, about 50% of students in the district qualify for free and reduced lunches. Mary Weikum is the Director of Food and Nutrition Services for Austin Public Schools said this program can help students that aren't fully learning in person. She said it is similar to the summer lunch program. 
"We know that these kids qualify for this extra help during the school year and we worry in the summer where they are getting their nutrition and you know with distance learning we have that same concern. and so that is why I think it is super important. We want to make sure kids are eating properly," said Weikum. 
If you are supposed to receive a P-EBT card and haven't yet, you should contact your school district or the Minnesota Department of Human Services. If you think your child qualifies, make sure to fill out your district's free and reduced lunch application. That's how schools receive the proper funding for these programs. These funds are expected to go through July. 

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