Governor Abbott, HHSC Announce $1.4 Billion In Pandemic Food Benefits For Texas Families
Governor Greg Abbott today announced that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a fifth round of federal Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) food benefits for Texas families with children who temporarily lost access to federally funded summer meal programs due to COVID-19.
"The State of Texas continues working to ensure families and children impacted by school closures have access to nutritious meals," said Governor Abbott. "I thank HHSC and TEA for working with the USDA to provide these food benefits for Texas families across the state."
“We’re proud to be supporting families in Texas so they can provide food to their children,” said Wayne Salter, HHS deputy executive commissioner of Access and Eligibility Services. “Being well-nourished allows children to focus on learning rather than where their next meal will come from.”
In this fifth round of pandemic food benefits, HHSC received federal approval to provide more than $1.4 billion in benefits to approximately 3.5 million eligible children in Texas. To date, HHSC has distributed approximately $6.32 billion in P-EBT food benefits to Texas families.
P-EBT is a joint effort of HHSC, the Texas Department of Agriculture and the Texas Education Agency (TEA). In this round, covering June through August, P-EBT provides a one-time benefit of $391 per eligible child and can be used in the same way as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits to pay for groceries.
To be eligible, a student must have been certified for free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) at their Texas school during the 2021-2022 school year or at any time during the summer period (June to August 2022) and have been enrolled at an NSLP campus at the end of the 2021-2022 school year. This includes children who did not receive 2021–2022 school year P-EBT benefits based on the COVID-19-related absences provided by their school.
For eligible Texans, who have not received SNAP and have not received P-EBT benefits before, a notice will be sent by mail with a claim code starting in November. This code can be used to claim P-EBT benefits by going to YourTexasBenefits.com or by calling the P-EBT Call Center at 833-442-1255. Households will have 90 days from the date on the notice to claim their benefits.
Childcare-aged children, born on or after August 1, 2015, who received SNAP food benefits at any time between June and August 2022 will automatically receive P-EBT benefits on their Lone Star Card starting in December. They will be mailed a notice with information about their student’s benefit amount and do not need to take any action.
Visit hhs.texas.gov/pebt or call the P-EBT Call Center at 833-442-1255 to learn more.