Together the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) and Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) will provide Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) benefits to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and non-SNAP households for children who have temporarily lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to pandemic-related school closures.
Households are eligible for P-EBT because they:
- Include an eligible child or children, who if not for the closure of their school during a public health emergency designation and due to concerns about a COVID-19 outbreak, would receive free or reduced-price school meals under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, as amended, and
- The child’s school or district has been closed for at least 5 consecutive days during a public health emergency designation and due to concerns about a COVID-19 outbreak.
The value of the school meals is equal to the Federal reimbursement rate for breakfast and lunch at the free rate, as specified by USDA.
Headstarts are not eligible at this time.
No. The MDE will provide all eligible children/households to the MDHS so Pandemic EBT cards can be issued. P-EBT cards will be issued to the address on file with MDE.
P-EBT benefits will be placed on EBT cards. SNAP households will receive P-EBT benefits on their existing card. Households that do not receive SNAP benefits will receive a P-EBT card in the mail with instructions for activating their card with a PIN number and use.
The household will receive a total of $267.90 per each child. This amount equals USDA’s set free rate of $5.70 multiplied by the 47 days in which schools were canceled in MS during March, April and May due to the pandemic.
The P-EBT Plan submitted by MDE and MDHS was approved by FNS on June 2, 2020. While the plan has been approved, the eligibility information must still be received from MDE and compiled into a system to generate the benefits. At this time, we estimate it will take 2-3 weeks to set up this brand new system to begin issuing EBT cards with benefits. MDHS expect to have all cards issued to households within 6-7 weeks.
If you do not want P-EBT benefits, you may destroy the card or return it in the mail. P-EBT benefits are nontransferable.