Washington families receive another round of food benefits this summer


Washington families with low incomes should be receiving another round of food assistance for their children during the summer. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) used federal Covid-19 relief to fund Pandemic EBT (P-EBT), which provides food benefits to families with children. Families don’t need to apply for the second round of P-EBT. To be eligible, children must enroll in the Basic Food benefits program or the free or reduced-price school meal program.

So far, the first and second rounds of P-EBT benefits have helped more than 400,000 Washington children, according to the Washington state Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS).

The USDA has two programs: The P-EBT Children Under 6 program and the Summer 2022 P-EBT program. The P-EBT Children Under 6 program is for children under six years old who are eligible for Basic Food benefits. Families may receive $43 per child for each month they received Basic Food benefits from September 2021 to June 2022. 

The Summer 2022 P-EBT program includes both children under six years old and school-age children. Families will receive one payment of $391 per child at the beginning of August. 

P-EBT benefits can be used at grocery stores, farmers markets or food retailers that accept EBT card payments, according to the state DSHS. Families were expected to receive these benefits by late July and throughout the summer. 

Norah West, assistant director at the state DSHS, said P-EBT cards can be used anywhere Basic Food or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits are accepted. “You use it just like a debit card,” she said.

When using the P-EBT at a farmers market, West said the price someone pays in P-EBT benefits is matched so families can double the value.

If a child has not enrolled in these benefits, they can apply through their local school district. Children must be approved for the programs by Wednesday, August 31 to receive P-EBT benefits. 

Nearly 46 percent of Blaine school district students are on free or reduced-price school lunches, according to Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction data.

“We’re thrilled to be able to offer this to families in Washington state,” West said. “We know there’s been a lot of pressure with inflation raising food prices and kids being home for the summer.”

For more information, visit the state DSHS website.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here