State will get federal OK for $550 million in meals help to 572,000 youngsters

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) – The state of Oregon announced Tuesday that it has received federal government approval to issue a Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) for the 2020-2021 school year to 572,000 Oregon children.

P-EBT provides food benefits to families whose children do not have access to the free or discounted meals normally offered in school. Oregon has been granted approval to provide retroactive food benefits to eligible students for the 2020-2021 school year. The P-EBT benefits are expected to be granted from July.

“The benefits of P-EBT will greatly aid the food security, health and well-being of children and families across Oregon,” said Dan Haun, director of self-sufficiency programs for the Oregon Department of Human Services. “Still, many Oregonians struggle to meet their basic needs. We encourage them to get in touch with our partners at 211 and the Oregon Food Bank. “

“All children deserve access to adequate nutrition to support their learning. The Oregon Department of Education is excited to work with ODHS and local school districts to meet the nutritional needs of the children and families in Oregon hardest hit by the pandemic. Said Cindy Hunt, chief of staff for the Oregon Department of Education.

ODHS and ODE share responsibility for ensuring that children across Oregon receive P-EBT foods. ODE works with school districts across Oregon to determine eligibility, and ODHS issues the benefits of Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards.

Households do not have to apply for a P-EBT. Benefits are automatically granted to students who normally have access to free, discounted meals and are enrolled in an Oregon school.

If your children are not currently enrolled for free or discounted meals, you can apply through your school or online at the Oregon Department of Education website. If you qualify for free or discounted meals for the 2020-2021 school year before June 30, 2021, you will receive P-EBT when the benefits are granted. Eligibility and amounts for P-EBT benefits vary. Visit for more information.

Each student receives their own P-EBT card. Students and households new to P-EBT, and households with more than one student, will receive an Oregon P-EBT card with instructions in the mail. For those students who do not receive a SNAP, the cards will be sent to the address on file with the school.

Students who are already receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will receive the P-EBT benefits on the EBT card associated with their household’s SNAP case.

P-EBT is not a substitute for any existing child nutrition program, and families are encouraged to continue to participate in Grab-n-Go meals or emergency nutrition programs at their local schools and locations in the community.

P-EBT is different from the SNAP benefits, including emergency contingents, which are also issued due to the effects of COVID-19. P-EBT benefits are not taken into account in a public stress test.

Resources to meet basic needs

  • Find a pantry:
  • Learn more about government programs and community resources for older adults and people with disabilities: Aging and Disability Resource Connection of Oregon at 1-855-673-2372 or
  • Dial 2-1-1 or send your zip code to 898-21,
  • Oregon Department of Human Services Resources

About SNAP

SNAP is managed by ODHS and is a federal program that provides food assistance to approximately 1 million eligible families and low-income individuals in Oregon, including many older adults and people with disabilities. Oregonians in need can apply for benefits including SNAP, childcare, cash assistance, and Medicaid. Further information can be found at For local resources in your area, such as groceries or shelter, please call 2-1-1 or contact the state’s ADRC (Aging and Disability Resource Connection) at 1-855-ORE-ADRC or 1-855- 673-2372.

Via the Oregon Department of Education

The Oregon Department of Education works with educators, partners, and communities to promote equity and excellence for every learner. ODE oversees the education of over 560,000 students in Oregon’s K-12 public education system. While ODE is out of the classroom and directly providing services, the agency (along with the State Board) is focused on helping districts achieve both local and statewide goals and priorities through strategies such as:

  • Develop guidelines and standards
  • Providing accurate and timely data to inform you about instructions
  • Training teachers to use data effectively
  • Effective management of numerous state and federal grants
  • Exchange and support districts in implementing best practices

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