JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — Leaders announced 466,000 Mississippi children who participated in the National School Lunch Program are expected to receive Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) benefits for the fall.

This comes after the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) and the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) received federal approval to distribute the benefits.

Additionally, children under six-years-old who received SNAP benefits during the 2021-22 school year or summer 2022 are approved to receive P-EBT benefits. About 90,000 additional Mississippi children will receive benefits this year with the addition of SNAP under age six children.

Children under six-years-old who were members of an active SNAP case between August 2021 and July 2022 in Mississippi will receive one-time P-EBT benefits based on how many months they received SNAP benefits. View a table of the benefit amounts online.

Families of students in K-12 who were eligible for the National School Lunch Program during the 2021-22 school year will receive a $391 one-time benefit for each child enrolled in the program. Eligibility for children is based solely on their eligibility for Free of Reduced Priced Lunch.

P-EBT benefits can be used to purchase SNAP-eligible foods in stores that accept EBT cards. All eligible children will be issued a new P-EBT card. For K-12 students, the card will be mailed to the address provided by the child’s 2021-22 school district. For SNAP under six children, the card will be mailed to the family’s most updated address on file with the SNAP program.

Completing an application for free or reduced-price lunch during the 2022-23 school year will not make a child eligible for the 2022 P-EBT benefits.

Before benefits can be distributed, MDHS and MDE must:

  • Work with school districts to gather student information
  • Work with the P-EBT processing vendor to manufacture, load and distribute cards
  • Initiate a customer service call center with online options for parents to resolve issues with cards and benefits

MDHS expects distribution of the one-time P-EBT benefits to be in October.

Eligible families can check online for updates, including a timeframe for the arrival of benefits, address updates and call center operations.