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Pandemic EBT cards to help W.Va. families fight food insecurity

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Published: May. 5, 2020 at 1:11 PM EDT
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Help is coming this summer for families whose students receive free or reduced lunch at school.

West Virginia state leaders announced Monday that pandemic EBT cards will provide a little more than $300 per child to help pay for food.

It can be used wherever EBT cards are accepted.

If you already receive SNAP benefits, the money will be loaded directly onto your current card. If you do not, a card will come to you in the mail.

“Since the start of this pandemic, the West Virginia Department of Education has worked with county school systems to ensure no child is forgotten and no family has the added stress of food insecurity,” West Virginia Schools Superintendent W. Clayton Burch said in a news release. “We are hopeful the addition of the P-EBT cards will be an added support for families, and are grateful for the continued combined efforts of our counties and partners.”

The P-EBT card is a part of H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act .

According to a news release: “parents and guardians who care for school-age students who do not receive free or reduced-price school meals may apply for inclusion in this group by applying at https://www.schoolcafe.com/.”

“We are grateful beyond belief to have this federal support to make sure our kids’ needs are being met during this pandemic,” Gov. Jim Justice said in a news release. “Making sure every single one of our kids in West Virginia has enough to eat is one of my top priorities. The minute we realized we had to shut down our schools, I went to work with our education leaders and put a plan in action that is now providing over 1 million meals a week to children statewide.”

The state will still work at the county level to ensure that students have access to food for the remainder of the school year. Burch also said Monday that they are working to keep the food program going throughout the summer.

“Hunger is a threat faced by many West Virginians, and one we work daily to prevent,” said DHHR Cabinet Secretary Bill J. Crouch said in a news release. “By partnering with the WVDE, we can accelerate providing financial assistance and support during the pandemic. P-EBT will help assure happier and healthier outcomes for West Virginia families and we are extremely pleased to be part of this effort.”

According to a news release:

“The P-EBT benefits will be issued in two waves. The first wave will reach students who receive SNAP, West Virginia WORKS (WV WORKS), or Medicaid benefits through the DHHR. For students who are currently receiving SNAP or West Virginia WORKS benefits, the benefits will be deposited into the household’s EBT card. If a parent or guardian no longer has or has lost their SNAP EBT card, they can contact DHHR at 1-877-716-1212 to request a new card.

The second wave will reach students who do not receive SNAP, WV WORKS, or Medicaid. This group will consist of all other students who are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals who were not included in the first wave. These P-EBT cards will be issued to the most recent address and guardian name given for the student to the schools. All eligible families are expected to receive the P-EBT benefits before the end of June.”

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