SECOND ROUND OF BENEFITS JUST APPROVED BY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR HAWAIʻI P-EBT – Deadline Fast-Approaching

Posted on Sep 16, 2020 in Featured, NEWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 16, 2020

SECOND ROUND OF BENEFITS JUST APPROVED FOR HAWAIʻI P-EBT – Deadline Fast-Approaching

HONOLULU – The Hawaiʻi Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education (HIDOE) announced that there will be a second round of Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program (P-EBT) benefits allocated to children who qualify for free or reduced-price school meals during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the beginning of the summer, during the first round of P-EBT, DHS provided more than 93,500 eligible students with $33,437,250 in food assistance support.

This week, the federal government approved issuance of a second round of P-EBT for kindergarten to 12th grade students enrolled in schools operating a distance learning  model.

“Ensuring that children in need have access to nutritious meals remains a top priority,” shared Cathy Betts, Director of the Department of Human Services. “As families navigate the challenges of work, remote learning, and caring for their ‘ohana, we hope these additional benefits will relieve some of the financial stressors of accessing healthy and nutritious meals.”

There is a tight turnaround to allocate these benefits due to federal restrictions.

  • Ensure that your child’s school has the correct mailing address NO LATER THAN September 22, 2020.
  • If your child is in need and is NOT enrolled in the Free and Reduced-Price Lunch Program, (and you would like for them to receive P-EBT benefits) please enroll NO LATER THAN September 21, 2020 via EZMealApp.com

HIDOE is working to identify all of the eligible children throughout the state and providing DHS with the addresses, so they can receive their benefits in a timely manner.

“Many students rely on school meals as their primary source of daily intake. With the majority of students participating in distance learning during the first quarter, it’s important to make sure that families have the resources they need to provide well-balanced and nutritious meals to their children so that they can continue to learn and thrive,” said Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto. “We are pleased to be working with the Department of Human Services to provide financial relief for food assistance to over 93,000 students and their families during this time of economic uncertainty.”

Eligible families can receive up to the following amount for each child enrolled in school:
August 2020: $136
September 2020: $150
Maximum for the 2-month period of School Year 2020-21:  $286/child.

To learn more about the NSLP and applying for free or reduced-price meals, click here.

The Hawaiʻi P-EBT benefits will be loaded on the existing Kokua EBT and Hawaiʻi P-EBT card accounts beginning September 29, 2020.  New Hawaiʻi P-EBT accounts will have their cards mailed beginning September 29, 2020.

DHS will continue to work with federal partners to provide assistance to Hawaiʻi’s families in need. To apply for SNAP and Financial assistance, visit humanservices.hawaii.gov.

For more information, see the attached FAQs.

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For Hawaiʻi P-EBT Program Inquiries:
Email: [email protected]

For Media Inquiries:
Amanda Stevens, Public Information Officer
Department of Human Services
Email: [email protected]

 

Pandemic EBT-Program Round 2 (FAQs) – September 16, 2020

A program for families with children who receive free or reduced-cost meals at school

What is P-EBT?

The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program is part of a food assistance plan approved by the U. S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, and authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, for eligible students who attend kindergarten through grade 12.  The Hawaiʻi Department of Human Services (DHS) wants families to know that there is a tight turnaround that the federal government has given DHS to allocate these benefits.

Important Information from the Hawaiʻi Department of Education that will help families receive P-EBT benefits:

  • Ensure that your child’s school has the correct mailing address NO LATER THAN September 22, 2020.
  • If your child is in need and is NOT enrolled in the Free and Reduced-Price Lunch Program, (and you would like for them to receive P-EBT benefits) please enroll no later than September 21, 2020 via EZMealApp.com
  • Students who are enrolled in a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) program school are automatically eligible to receive this benefit. No action is needed.

How Does this Work?
There are three ways the P-EBT will be distributed.
1. SNAP RECIPIENTS
For families that received P-EBT benefits for the school year 2019-20 and are Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households, P-EBT benefits will automatically be deposited to their existing Kokua EBT card. The P-EBT benefits can be used the same way as their Kokua EBT card.

2. NON-SNAP RECIPIENTS WHO ALREADY HAVE THE HAWAIʻI P-EBT CARD (white card with black lettering)
Families that had received P-EBT benefits for the school year 2019-20 and are eligible for P-EBT benefits for the school year 2020-21 will have their benefits loaded to the card they had received for their 2019-20 benefits.  If a replacement card is needed (Kokua EBT or Hawaiʻi P-EBT) please call the Fidelity Information Service (FIS) customer service at 1-888-328-4292.

3. FAMILIES NEW TO THE HAWAIʻI P-EBT PROGRAM AND ELIGIBLE
Families that had not received P-EBT for the 2019-20 school year will be mailed a Hawaiʻi P-EBT card.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Families new to the program that are mailed a Hawaiʻi P-EBT card will receive a card in the name of each eligible student. The SNAP and Hawaiʻi P-EBT cards can also be used in the Da Bux program.

Who is Eligible?

  • Students who are either enrolled for free or reduced-price school meals at a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) OR…
  • Students who are enrolled in a school that provides free meals to all students through the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) or another provision.  For the CEP school listing click here. Students who attend these schools are automatically eligible to receive this benefit. No action is needed.

Do I need to apply for P-EBT?
No, households do not have to apply for P-EBT.  DHS will be provided the records of eligible students.  Please see the information under “Who is Eligible?” section.

How Much Will Families Receive?
Eligible families can receive up to the following amount for each child enrolled in school:
August 2020: $136
September 2020: $150
Maximum for the 2-month period of School Year 2020-21:  $286/child.

The Hawaiʻi P-EBT benefits will be loaded on the existing Kokua EBT and Hawaiʻi P-EBT card accounts beginning September 29, 2020.  New Hawaiʻi P-EBT account holders will have their cards mailed beginning September 29, 2020.

For Hawaiʻi P-EBT Program Inquiries: Email [email protected]