COLUMBUS, OHIO – Thousands of Ohio children who qualify for free or reduced-price meals at school will soon receive money to buy food through the Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) announced today. This funding was made possible by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act. ODJFS provided more than $250 million in P-EBT benefits to more than 850,000 Ohio children last spring. The agency recently received federal approval to issue a second round of benefits for children enrolled in schools operating fully remotely or with a hybrid remote/in-person model.
“As families juggle the challenges of work, remote learning, and additional responsibilities, I hope that these additional benefits eliminate the stress of providing healthy, nutritious meals,” said Governor Mike DeWine.
ODJFS is working with the Ohio Department of Education and local school districts to identify all eligible children. Children participating in remote learning for at least five consecutive days between the dates Aug. 1 and Sept. 30, 2020, who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals qualify.
“Ensuring that our most vulnerable children have access to nutritious meals remains a top priority,” said ODJFS Director Kimberly Hall. “As families continue to navigate the challenges related to COVID, we are happy to have the P-EBT program as an additional resource to offer our children and their families.”
As with the benefits issued last spring, the P-EBT benefits will be added to the Ohio Direction cards of families that receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Families that do not receive SNAP benefits will be sent P-EBT cards with the one-time benefit added. No application is needed.
“Meeting the needs of the whole child is a key component of Each Child, Our Future, Ohio’s strategic plan for education,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria.
“This second round of P-EBT benefits helps families and caregivers ensure all students receive proper nutrition and are thus ready to be challenged, prepared and empowered for their future.”
Individuals may qualify for SNAP if their household’s gross monthly income is at or under 130% of the federal poverty guidelines. Ohioans can apply at benefits.ohio.gov.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services manages vital programs that strengthen Ohio families. These include job training and employment services, unemployment insurance, cash and food assistance, child care, child and adult protective services, adoption, and child support services.