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Mayor Bowser Announces that the District Will Distribute Over $41 Million in Food Assistance to More Than 80,000 Children

DHS and OSSE Approved to Launch the P-EBT Program for the 2021-2022 School Year and Summer 2022

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(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that between August and October 2022, the District will issue an estimated $41 million in food assistance to more than 80,000 District children. On July 1, 2022, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved Mayor Bowser’s request, made through the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), to implement the Summer Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) program for the current school year (SY 2021-2022). USDA also approved the Mayor’s request to issue P-EBT to children in households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits who were under six years old on September 30, 2021.

“Last week, we launched our summer meals program at more than 100 sites across all eight wards. This week, we expanded two critical programs that will deliver healthy meals and food to thousands of children and teens in our community – the School Breakfast Program and the P-EBT program,” said Mayor Bowser. “No matter where our young people are – whether they’re in school, at camp, at home, at child care – we are making sure that all families have access to the nutritious food that children need to thrive and live happy, healthy lives.”

Families with eligible children who were under the age of six on September 30, 2021 can receive up to $602.02 for the school year and will receive $391 for the summer. Families with eligible children over the age of six years old will receive $391 for the summer. The P-EBT card works like a debit card to purchase food items anywhere EBT benefits are accepted. P-EBT can be used for any food items normally purchased with SNAP.

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The P-EBT program provides food assistance on an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. For eligible children whose family receives SNAP or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits, a payment will be added to their regular monthly benefits and automatically loaded onto the household’s existing EBT card. For children whose family does not receive SNAP or TANF and previously received P-EBT, payments will be loaded onto their previously issued EBT card. For newly eligible children, an EBT card will be mailed to the home address on file. If a family did not retain their originally issued card, they can request a new one by calling the District’s EBT partner 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at their hotline (888) 304-9167.

“We know this support comes at a critical time for District families,” said DHS Director Laura Green Zeilinger. “Our residents continue to recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and face rapidly escalating food costs. We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with USDA to provide this assistance.”

Distribution of benefits to eligible families will begin in August, and more information will become available in the coming weeks at dhs.dc.gov/p-ebt.

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