LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A new program will provide financial assistance to Kentucky families that have lost access to free or reduced-price school meals during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program will provide each eligible student with a one-time payment of $313.50 to cover meals students missed out on between March and May, according to a news release from Gov. Andy Beshear's office. According to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), the breakdown of payment is as follows: 

  • Daily Rate: $5.70
  • March total: $68.40
  • April total: $125.40
  • May total: $119.70
  • Overall total: $313.50

Eligible households include those with children who attend public or private schools and are certified to receive free or reduced-price school meals and/or children who attend schools that offer free school meals to all students, according to Beshear's office. 

Households that are currently receiving assistance via SNAP, TANF, foster/Kinship Care and/or Medicaid will be automatically enrolled in the P-EBT program and will have funds added to existing EBT cards no later than May 28, Beshear's office said. 

All other households must complete an online application and will be mailed an EBT card with activation and use instructions. The application will be available between June 2 and June 30; to apply, click here

The P-EBT funds can be used to purchase any of the following items, according to the CHFS:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Meat, poultry, fish
  • Dairy products
  • Breads and cereals
  • Snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Seeds and plants which produce food for the household to eat

The P-EBT funds cannot be used to purchase:

  • Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, tobacco
  • Vitamins, medicines, supplements
  • Live animals
  • Prepared food fit for immediate consumption
  • Hot foods
  • Nonfood items such as: Pet foods, cleaning supplies, paper products, hygiene items, cosmetics and other household supplies

For any questions regarding the P-EBT, contact the Kentucky Food Benefits hub

Copyright 2020 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.