MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An estimated 530,000 Alabama children who get free or reduced price school meals are now eligible for food benefits this summer after the school year ends, officials said Tuesday.
The Alabama Department of Human Resources said qualifying households will get $120 for each participating student to buy food that is eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program at stores that accept Electronic Benefit Transfer cards. The Summer Pandemic EBT program benefits are expected to begin rolling out in mid-to-late summer.
“Inflation has transformed each grocery trip into a balancing act for low-income families struggling to afford food for their children on top of other costs like housing and transportation,” said Alabama Department of Human Resources Commissioner Nancy Buckner in a news release. “Every dollar of support from programs like P-EBT strengthens their spending power and weakens the prospect of hunger, while promoting nutritious meals for children.”
Summer P-EBT benefits are limited to students who receive free or reduced price meals under the National School Lunch Program. To become eligible, families may apply by contacting their schools. Applications must be approved by May 16 to qualify for summer benefits.
Households with eligible students who received P-EBT benefits previously will access Summer P-EBT benefits on their existing EBT cards. Those who are new to the National School Lunch Program will get EBT cards in the mail.