EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program (food stamps), also known as the P-EBT, was issued as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, but did you know 92% of states continued to send money to those cards?

The P-EBT was part of the U.S. government’s solution to help families pay for food while their children were home due to school closures during the pandemic. If your child received free lunches at school, you may have received an EBT card to purchase food while they were home.

The funding for the P-EBT program comes from federal COVID-19 relief packages, but the distribution and management has been handled by individual states with the approval of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Most of the states — 46 out of 50 — implemented this program during the 2021-2022 school year, and the majority were scheduled to receive benefits from the previous school year sometime between July and December.

Some states, however, have yet to allocate benefits to residents with P-EBT cards, and qualifying residents may still have funds coming their way.

Here is what the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services says about the program:

“Federal law allows States to implement a temporary program called Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfer (P_EBT), which provides eligible children with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) benefits. Preschool (Pre-K) through 12th grade students within eligible school buildings who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or School breakfast Program (SBP) may be eligible for P-EBT benefits. Additionally, children on SNAP, under the age of 6 who are not in school, are eligible for P-EBT benefits based on a monthly reduction of lunch meals provided to children at child care centers across the state.”

The program is administered by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and the Department is partnering with the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to ensure eligible children receive this important benefit.

Other states that should’ve received benefits for the 2021-2022 school year include:

States that should expect P-EBT benefits in the future:

States that don’t plan on sending out P-EBT services according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture:

  • Alaska
  • Idaho
  • South Dakota
  • Kansas

It’s important to note that states may have amended their benefit schedules from what was originally listed on their proposals, so the lists above might not reflect exact dates. However, if states managed to stay on schedule, they’re expected to issue benefits by the dates indicated.

Check with your state’s website linked above for more detailed payment information. You can also call the phone number on your existing P-EBT card to check the balance.