Houston ISD announced this week that the deadline to apply for the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT), a one-time payment to families who lost access to free or reduced-priced meals because of school closures related to COVID-19, has been extended to July 31.
The application for the benefit, which is part of a $1 billion program approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is available online at yourtexasbenefits.com/Learn/PEBT. Those who qualify will receive a one-time payment of up to $285, which will be issued on an EBT card and can be used to buy food from any retailer that accepts the Texas Lone Star Card.
Families with children up to 21 years old, who were certified for free or reduced-priced meals at a Texas school during the 2019-20 academic year, are eligible. So are families with children at schools that offer free meals through a Community Eligibility Provision, which applies to all schools and students in HISD. Foster youth, migrant youth, homeless youth, runaway youth and Head Star participants also are eligible.
“The deadline extension will allow more HISD families to access this crucial resource,” HISD interim superintendent Grenita Lathan said in a news release. “I encourage all families in need to apply if they haven’t done so already.”
HISD said families who received SNAP benefits for March 2020, and have children between 5-18 years old as of May 17, do not need to apply and should already have received P-EBT benefits on their Lone Star Card. The school district encouraged all other families to apply, including families that received SNAP benefits in March but have children who are younger than 5 or between 19-21.
HISD said receiving the P-EBT will not affect a family’s ability to receive other food benefits, including SNAP, summer meals from HISD or other nutrition resources.
For more information, visit hhs.texas.gov/PEBT or call 833-613-6220.