Friday, December 9, 2022

A new benefit available for free and reduced lunch students

Families who qualify for free and reduced lunch now have a new meal benefit to help them put food on the table during the coronavirus.

The Virginia Department of Social Services has created a new Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program, which is a temporary program available to Virginia families who are eligible for benefits through Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and free and reduced lunch.

The program helps fill the gap where students who would normally receive the meals during school no longer can due to the pandemic.

The P-EBT program helps provide additional meal support to families in need by providing a P-EBT card with an allotted amount of funds. Households will receive $5.70 per eligible student each day for up to a maximum of 66 days of school closure, according to the department’s website.

Eligible households will receive benefits for the entire period their students are eligible, even if they do not receive the benefits until the end of May or June.

Benefits through the program can be accepted at any store that already accepts SNAP or EBT. Most foods are SNAP-eligible, except prepared foods or foods sold hot.

Those using the P-EBT program do not have to spend all of their money at one time. Instead, money will carry over from month to month and after one year any unused P-EBT benefits will be removed.

Those who receive benefits through P-EBT are encouraged to still participate in other food assistance programs, such as meals provided by local school districts, according to the department’s website.

In Williamsburg-James City County and York County School Division, the current meal distribution schedule is as follows:

Williamsburg-James City County

  • James River Elementary School front entrance, accessible through WATA route one, 8 to 10 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
  • James Blair Middle School, bus parking lot, accessible through WATA route two and five, 8 to 10 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
  • Toano Middle School, front entrance, accessible through WATA route nine, 8 to 10 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
  • Warhill high School, student parking lot, accessible through WATA route four, 8 to 10 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

York County School Division

  • Magruder Elementary School, Monday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Tabb High School, Monday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • York High School, Monday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The assistance program comes in addition to the other various meal distribution programs currently offered in the community.

For more information, visit the Virginia Department of Social Services online.

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Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doironhttp://wydaily.com
Alexa Doiron is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She graduated from Roanoke College and is currently working on a master’s degree in English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Alexa was born and raised in Williamsburg and enjoys writing stories about local flair. She began her career in journalism at the Warhill High School newspaper and, eight years later, still loves it. After working as a news editor in Blacksburg, Va., Alexa missed Williamsburg and decided to come back home. In her free time, she enjoys reading Jane Austen and playing with her puppy, Poe. Alexa can be reached at alexa@localvoicemedia.com.

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