Food Stamp Sign

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Families in Indiana with children who receive free or reduced-cost school meals will soon receive money from the "Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer" program starting this week. 

According to a news release, the benefits will reimburse families of about 600,000 Hoosier children for the cost of meals that their children were unable to receive because their school was closed due to COVID-19.

Families that do not currently receive assistance from SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) will be sent an electronic benefits transfer card in the mail by the end of May, along with instructions on how to activate and us it.

The benefits are automatic, and families will not need to apply for the Pandemic EBT assistance (P-EBT). The P-EBT card works like a bank debit card. It can be used at any store in the U.S. that accepts SNAP, but cannot be used for cash withdrawals at ATM machines.

The Family and Social Services Administration worked with the Indiana Department of Education to identify the recipient families based upon their child already receiving free and reduced-cost meals at school.

Families that currently receive SNAP benefits will have the additional benefits applied to their SNAP accounts on their Hoosier Works EBT card by the end of May.

According to the FSSA, for P-EBT, each household will receive an amount equal to the value of the daily allotment for breakfast and lunch multiplied by the average number of school days missed since school was cancelled. Families will receive this amount for each eligible child in the household for the number of days the child was eligible for free and reduced lunch.

The value of the school meals per day is equal to the federal reimbursement rate for breakfast and lunch at the free rate, which is $5.70.

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