RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) – The federal P-EBT program created to supplement school meals missed during the pandemic will officially end in Virginia this summer, with one final benefit.
The program began in spring 2020 due to COVID-related school closures, to help families afford lunches children would typically get for free or at a reduced price while at school.
On May 11, 2023 the Department of Health and Human Services declared the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency. As a result, the P-EBT program for K-12 children is ending in Virginia.
The Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) announced it is providing a one-time $120 benefit to households with eligible children in grades K-12. That amount is supposed to start appearing in EBT accounts on July 22, 2023. The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service approved Virginia’s plan to release this single summer benefit payment.
In order to receive the benefit, the child must attend a qualifying school that participated in a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) or the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) during the 2022-2023 school year.
According to this database, nearly all public schools in the Hampton Roads region participate in CEP. This database also provides the percentage of students eligible at each school.
Households that do not already have a P-EBT or SNAP EBT card will have a card mailed to the address provided by their school within 3 weeks of benefit issuance. If you no longer have your previously issued P-EBT or EBT cards, or need to update your address related to the account, contact the P-EBT Call Center at 866-513-1414 or 804-294-1633 Monday – Friday from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Visit PebtVA.com for answers to other common questions about the program. Please do not reach out to your child’s school or local department of social services with questions about the P-EBT program.
Households in need of additional food resources may be eligible for assistance through the following community-based resources:
- The USDA National Hunger Hotline, operated by Hunger Free America, provides food assistance for families with children. The Hotline connects callers with emergency food providers in their community as well as through government assistance programs and various social services. For more information, call 1-866-3-HUNGRY (1-866-348-6479) or 1-877-8-HAMBRE (1-877-842-6273) (en Español).
- SNAP households can utilize the Virginia Fresh Match program, which matches SNAP benefits dollar-for-dollar when purchasing fruits and vegetables at participating farmers’ markets and neighborhood grocery stores. A list of participating outlets can be found by using the interactive map.
- The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program helps eligible seniors get locally grown fruit, vegetables, and herbs, while supporting local farmers and farmers markets in Virginia. Contact a local operations center here.
- The Federation of Virginia Food Banks utilizes partnerships across the state to provide a healthier, food secure Virginia. Use the Virginia Food Bank Locator to find a food bank near you.
- 2-1-1 Virginia is also available to individuals or families in need of additional food or other resources. Call 2-1-1 or visit the 2-1-1 website for information on available programs.