The Mississippi Department of Human Services and the Mississippi Department of Education have issued P-EBT benefits for the 2020-21 school year. Approximately 185,000 Mississippi students will receive these P-EBT benefits because they were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch and attended a school that had a predominately hybrid or virtual schedule for at least one month the 2020-21 school year.
The amount that children eligible for 2020-21 school year P-EBT benefits will receive was determined by their school’s reported learning schedule during that year. The total 2020-21 school year benefit disbursement to Mississippi school children is estimated to be $116 million.
Summer 2021 benefits were issued in October. School year 2020-21 benefits will be loaded onto the same P-EBT card that the child received.
To review the benefit amount your child will receive for the 2020-21 school year, please find your child’s school on the P-EBT School list available here: https://www.mdhs.ms.gov/pandemic-ebt-p-ebt/p-ebt-schools-2/
Not all children who received a P-EBT card will receive School Year 2020-21 benefits. Some children only qualified to receive Summer 2021 benefits because their school operated a majority in-person learning schedule throughout the 2020-21 school year. Children who were not eligible for Summer 2021 benefits are not eligible for school year 2020-21 benefits.
This round of Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) assists families of children eligible for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), whose school’s predominant learning mode was either virtual or hybrid for one or more months of the 2020-21 school year.
Your child must have been approved for free or reduced-price lunch under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) for the 2020-21 school year to be eligible to receive Summer 2021 or School Year 2020-21 P-EBT benefits.
While students in all MS public schools received meals for no charge during the 2020-2021 school year due to USDA waivers, eligibility for P-EBT is limited to those students who would have been eligible for free or reduced-price meals under normal school meals operations as part of the National School Lunch Program. There are three ways that children were approved:
Children who receive SNAP benefits are automatically approved for free or reduced-price lunch.
In some schools, every child is eligible for free or reduced-price lunch every year under the National School Lunch Program. These are called CEP schools. Here is a list of those schools for the 2020-21 school year: CEP School List for 2020-21
Families who submitted an application form for free or reduced-price lunch for the school year 2020 – 2021. Families who submitted an application received a letter stating whether their application was approved or not.
Completing an application for free or reduced-price lunch for the current 2021-22 school year does NOT make a child eligible for Summer 2021 or School Year 2020-21 benefits.
Based on USDA regulations, P-EBT funds can purchase any food for the household, such as:
- Fruits and vegetables;
- Meat, poultry, and fish;
- Dairy products;
- Bread and cereals;
- Other foods such as snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages; and
- Seeds and plants, which produce food for the household to eat.
Households CANNOT use P-EBT benefits to buy:
- Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, or tobacco
- Vitamins, medicines, and supplements. If an item has a Supplement Facts label, it is considered a supplement and is not eligible for SNAP purchase.
- Live animals (except shellfish, fish removed from the water, and animals slaughtered prior to pick-up from the store).
- Foods that are hot at the point of sale
- Any nonfood items such as:
- Pet foods
- Cleaning supplies, paper products, and other household supplies.
- Hygiene items, cosmetics
For more information, visit our P-EBT website with updated P-EBT FAQ’S:
We also have a P-EBT Call Center at 1-833-316-2423 with new extended hours of operation from 8:00 A.M. – 8:00 P.M., Monday – Friday.