HHSC announces $1.4 billion in pandemic food benefits for Texas families

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AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott announced today that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a fifth round of food services for Texas families with children temporarily baring access to state-funded ones due to COVID-19 Summer meals lost.

“The state of Texas continues to work to ensure families and children impacted by school closures have access to nutritious meals,” Gov. Abbott said. “I thank HHSC and TEA for working with the USDA to provide these food benefits to Texas families across the state.”

“We’re proud to support families in Texas so they can feed their children,” said Wayne Salter, HHS Assistant Executive Commissioner of Access and Eligibility Services. “Good nutrition allows children to focus on learning and not where their next meal will come from.”

In this fifth round of pandemic food services, HHSC received federal approval to provide more than $1.4 billion in services 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 by HHSC, the Texas Department of Agriculture and the Texas Education Agency (TEA). In this round, which will cover June through August, P-EBT will provide a one-time benefit of $391 per eligible child and can be used to pay for groceries in the same manner as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits.

To be eligible, a student must have been certified for free or discounted meals under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) at their Texas school during the 2021-2022 school year or anytime during the summer season (June through August 2022). ) and were enrolled at an NSLP campus at the end of the 2021-2022 school year. This includes children who did not receive P-EBT benefits in the 2021-2022 school year based on their school-provided COVID-19-related absences.

Beginning in November, eligible Texans who have not received SNAP or P-EBT benefits will be sent a notification in the mail with a claim code. 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 have 90 days from the date of notification to claim their benefits.

Childcare-age children born on or after August 1, 2015 who received SNAP grocery benefits between June and August 2022 will automatically start receiving P-EBT benefits on their Lone Star Card starting in December. You will receive a notification in the mail with information about the amount of student aid and you do not have to do anything.

Visit hhs.texas.gov/pebt or call the P-EBT Call Center at 833-442-1255 to learn more.