Summer food aid coming for over 400,000 Minnesota children

(ABC 6 News) – The families of 410,000 Minnesota children will receive support to help them provide healthy foods this summer.

Summer P-EBT is an essential program that supports healthy nutrition during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This month, federal funds totaling up to $180.5 million will begin going to the families of 320,000 schoolchildren and 90,000 children age 5 and under.

Most eligible families do not need to apply for the Summer Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer, or Summer P-EBT, and will receive the benefits automatically.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services will begin issuing the benefits on P-EBT cards in late July for school-age children, and on EBT cards in early August for children 5 and younger.

“With food prices skyrocketing, families need this support so they can provide nutritious meals for their children over the summer,” said Human Services Commissioner Jodi Harpstead. “The economic impact will also be substantial as people spend their Summer P-EBT benefits at grocery stores and farmers markets.”

Families who are eligible for Summer P-EBT will receive an email or text, as long as they have not opted out of receiving notifications. Parents who want to receive texts notifying them when benefits are available can sign up by using the P-EBT Help Form.

Families who were not previously approved can also apply for Summer P-EBT:

  • For school-age children, families have until Sept. 2 to apply through their schools on the Application for Educational Benefits for free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program. If approved, they will receive Summer P-EBT benefits beginning in late October.
  • For children 5 and younger, families have until Aug. 31 to apply for Summer P-EBT by enrolling in SNAP, MFIP or Tribal TANF. To enroll, they can visit, or contact their local county or tribal human services agency. The Summer P-EBT payment for families who are approved will go out in October.

Effective Sept. 1, 2022, all food benefits will be removed from EBT and P-EBT cards after nine months of not being used. Once removed, these benefits cannot be replaced.

For questions about Summer P-EBT, contact the call center, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 651-431-4608 or 833-454-0153.