In response to rising food insecurity amid COVID-19, Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) has been extended through the 2020-2021 school year. This page provides key messages and resources to help communicate to families.
P-EBT Outreach & Communications Resources
Details on P-EBT for the 2020-2021 school year are forthcoming.
P-EBT provides food benefits to children who are certified for free or reduced-price school meals and are learning remotely.
New York State’s P-EBT plan has been approved by USDA-FNS. However, New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (NYSOTDA) is working to finalize details about how and when benefits will be issued. As soon as this information becomes available, we will update our website.
The New York State Education Department (NYSED) has released a memo providing guidance to school districts on data collection for the purposes of P-EBT benefits.
Please note that the upcoming round of benefits for the 2020-2021 school year is separate from the first round of P-EBT, which covered the 2019-2020 school year. This distinction may cause confusion, as some families received the first round of benefits recently, or are still working to resolve issues with last school year’s benefits.
In the meantime, schools can act now to prepare for this new round of P-EBT benefits.
Schools can act now to ensure P-EBT reaches all eligible children:
- Encourage families to:
- Keep their mailing address updated with the school to ensure they receive any mailings from NYS OTDA, which will rely on this information.
- Keep their P-EBT card if they received one during the first round of P-EBT.
Non-CEP (Community Eligibility Provision) schools
- Encourage newly eligible families to apply for free or reduced-price school meals. This includes families who did not receive P-EBT for the 2019-2020 school year, but may be eligible now, such as families who lost income, and new Pre-K, Kindergarten, or transfer students.
- Eligibility will carry over for children who received P-EBT last year; however, more families may be eligible now. These families can only receive P-EBT if they are certified for F/RP school meals.
- Many schools are providing free meals to all with federal waivers this school year. Please assure families that applying for F/RP meals will not affect their access to those free meals.
- Children who automatically qualify for free school meals based on their participation in programs like SNAP do not need to submit a F/RP school meals application.
As trusted messengers, school leaders can communicate these messages to families with details that are specific to their school community. As you may be aware, the first round of benefits caused confusion with families which generated many calls to school districts. We have developed the following resources to help mitigate confusion for families and set school districts up for success.
Outreach & Communications Resources for Schools
To help with clear and concise communication to families we have developed templates you can customize and share:
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