TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- The Department of Children and Families with the Kansas State Department of Education has announced the creation of the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Program.
This program will help provide food to families that have impacted by school closures due to COVID-19 for their children.
“We know the pandemic has made it difficult for families to access food, especially if they relied on school meals,” says Governor Laura Kelly. “Thanks to the partnership between DCF and KSDE the state will be able to automatically enroll most families into the P-EBT program, so they receive their benefit as quickly as possible.”
Cheryl Johnson, KSDE director of child nutrition and wellness says, “Food insecurity should be the last thing our Kansas children should have to face right now. P-EBT provides temporary funding to address emergency food needs and avert financial hardship for families affected by the pandemic. I am thankful that through this partnership, Kansas is able to put healthy food on the table for Kansas children.”
The program will provide a one-time benefit of up to $291 on a Kansas Benefits Card to Kansas families whose children between 5-years-old and 18-years-old would receive free or reduced-price meals at participating schools. There is no application process to receive the P-EBT benefits.
DCF will issue the program money in phases. Kansans whose families currently receive free or reduced-price meals and are enrolled in the food assistance or TANF programs should begin to receive benefits this week.
The second phase will include an automatic match with families on free or reduced-price meals and who are also receiving Medicaid or child care assistance.
The last phase will include families that need to provide additional information to receive their benefits. These families will receive access to a parent portal to register for the program starting June 5. Parents should also receive information from their school district on how to access the parent portal.
“Most families should expect to see their benefit in the next two weeks,” says Laura Howard, DCF Secretary. “If families have not yet received information about P-EBT, I encourage them to reach out to their local school district.”
DCF will be holding a virtual town hall meeting to provide additional information on P-EBT tomorrow, May 21, from 11 a.m. to noon and can be found here.