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News & Press: Updates for Members

Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) Program for NC Families

Tuesday, April 21, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kay Castillo
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The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) is excited to share that North Carolina just received approval for the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) program to help more families purchase food during the COVID-19 pandemic. The P-EBT program provides a benefit on an EBT card to North Carolina families whose children have access to free and reduced lunch at school.


NCDHHS is working to operationalize the program and P-EBT recipients will receive this benefit in coming weeks. More than 800,000 children are expected to receive help buying food through the P-EBT program.


Families will not need to apply for the P-EBT program. P-EBT eligible families already receiving Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) benefits will receive an additional benefit on their existing EBT card. P-EBT eligible families not already enrolled in FNS will be mailed a new EBT card in the next few weeks. Families who receive a new EBT card will receive a letter from DHHS in the mail explaining how to activate and use their card.


NCDHHS, working in collaboration with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, requested activation of the P-EBT program for North Carolina families to use during school closures. This request was approved earlier today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  


This new P-EBT program is in addition to other services families may be participating in currently. We encourage families to continue utilizing local school and community meal sites for free, nutritious meals for children. Families can text FOODNC to 877-877 to find local meal sites. The service is also available in Spanish by texting COMIDA to 877-877. 

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