P-EBT, or Pandemic EBT, is a federal program. The Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), in collaboration with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), received approval to operate this program in response to the COVID-19 related school closures. P-EBT provides food supports to help families with children who were receiving free and reduced-price school meals pay for food.
Stay tuned for updates. P-EBT cards will be mailed to eligible households soon.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who is eligible for P-EBT benefits?
All Massachusetts families with school aged children who qualify for free and reduced price school meals. This includes any student in a school that provided free meals to all students.
2. How do I find out if I am eligible?
You will be getting a letter in the mail from DTA in May. If you do not get a letter in the mail and your child received free or reduced price school meals, contact Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline at (800) 645-8333 (TTY 800-377-1292).
3. If eligible, how much money will I get?
Households will receive $5.70 per eligible student per day, or $28.50 a week. If receiving DTA benefits, your P-EBT benefits will be added to your EBT card. If not actively receiving DTA benefits, you will receive a P-EBT card for each eligible student in your household.
5. How often will I get P-EBT benefits?
The timeline for issuing P-EBT benefits depends on several variables. You will receive details specific to your situation in the notice from DTA. For more information please call Project Bread’s Food Source Hotline at (800) 645-8333 (TTY 800-377-1292).
6. Where can I use my P-EBT benefits? What can I buy with them?
You can use your P-EBT benefits at any store that accepts SNAP. Most retailers have signs stating they accept SNAP or EBT.
P-EBT benefits can be used to buy any SNAP eligible food, which is most foods, except prepared foods and foods sold hot. For a list of SNAP eligible foods, click or tap here.
7. Do I have to use all my P-EBT benefits when I get them?
No. The money will carry over from month to month. Benefits that are not used for over a year will be removed from the card.
8. Will getting P-EBT impact my family’s ‘public charge’ status?
No. Using P-EBT benefits does not impact your or your child’s immigration status. The Public Charge rule does not apply to P-EBT benefits.
9. Can I participate in the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) with my P-EBT benefits?
No. P-EBT benefits are different than SNAP benefits, and cannot be used to receive HIP benefits.
P-EBT benefits supplement grab and go meal sites. They do not replace them. Families can find a meal site in their community through Project Bread’s School Closure Meal Site Finder.