Congress has approved a plan that will help to ensure students do not go hungry this school year. Specifically, the plan:
- Extends Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) through September 30, 2021. P-EBT provides families with cash on a government-issued card to purchase the same foods as are available through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
- Expands P-EBT to include children in child care centers effected by COVID-19 closures. Previously, children in child care settings could not get the benefit.
- Allows Puerto Rico and other territories previously excluded from P-EBT to implement the program.
- Allows schools with reduced days or hours to provide P-EBT to students. Previously, school had to close for 5 consecutive days for students to be eligible.
- Provides states with funding to cover P-EBT administrative costs.
- Allows USDA to extend all Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option (SSO) waivers through the end of the 2020-21 school year. These waivers make it easier for school districts to serve children at no charge and reduce administrative burdens.
The plan also extends waivers for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). These waivers will make it easier for the programs to continue meeting families needs during the COVID-19 crisis.