The New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS) has begun delivering extra food assistance to school children who would have received free or reduced-price school meals when schools were closed due to COVID-19.
The first payments of this new round of Pandemic EBT were delivered on July 20 to 142,000 school-age children whose households are already enrolled in the state’s Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP), according to DHS. Additional monthly benefits will be delivered through the upcoming weeks. Households may receive multiple payments through the summer, depending on their circumstances.
New electronic benefit cards are now being sent to 236,000 children whose families are not enrolled in SNAP. Cards will be mailed to the address provided by a student’s school district. These benefits will be sent on a rolling basis and may take a few weeks to reach families. Families should keep the new cards for possible future benefits.
Not all school districts have submitted the needed student information to the human services department. In these cases, families will experience delays in receiving benefits. The state is working with districts to get this information. Parents should check with their school district to ensure their child(ren)’s information has been submitted and that the address is correct.
Benefit amounts will vary based on the information schools provided to determine if they were on a virtual or hybrid schedule. The maximum benefit for fully virtual is $122.76 per child per month and $61.38 per child per month for hybrid.
P-EBT benefits can be used at participating SNAP EBT retailers and online at Amazon and participating locations of ALDI, Shop-Rite, Super Foodtown, The Fresh Grocer and Walmart.
For more information, visit DHS’ P-EBT webpage.
If families have received the card and have questions about how to activate it, they can call 1-800-997-3333. If they have not received a card and want to check the status, they can call the P-EBT Hotline at 1-833-581-2214. For a replacement card, families should contact their County Board of Social Services.