According to the MDHS students across the state will benefit from summer food supplements and participation in the National School Lunch Program.
Students across the state of Mississippi will be eligible for roughly $246 million in P-EBT benefits by the end of October 2021. These funds will be distributed in a collaboration between the Mississippi Department of Education and the Mississippi Department of Human Services.
They will come through two lump-sum payments: first for Summer 2021 and second for the 2020-21 school year.
P-EBT is designed to help support nutritional needs of children throughout the summer months, while they are not receiving regular school lunches as an option for food. These benefits assist families with those additional food costs.
Around 345,000 children in Mississippi were eligible for the Summer 2021 payment received free or reduced-price lunch through the National School Lunch Program for the 2020-21 school year and a payment of $375. For the 2020-2021 school year, approximately 185,000 Mississippi students received P-EBT benefits because they were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch and attended a school that had a predominately hybrid or virtual schedule for at least one month of the 2020-21 school year.
The amount that children eligible for 2020-21 school year P-EBT benefits will receive will depend on their school’s reported learning schedule during that year. The total benefit of the program is estimated to be $116 million.
The amount of children who receive P-EBT benefits depends on the school’s reported schedule during the school year. This would qualify for in person or virtual reporting.
Each child’s eligibility and amount for School Year 2020-21 P-EBT benefits was determined for each month of that school year (August 2020-May 2021) using information received from school districts about their school schedules.
To review the benefit amount eligible children in your district or school will receive for the 2020-21 school year, please find your school on the P-EBT School list available here: https://www.mdhs.ms.gov/pandemic-ebt-p-ebt/p-ebt-schools-2/
Based on USDA regulations, P-EBT funds can purchase any food for the household, such as:
· Fruits and vegetables;
· Meat, poultry, and fish;
· Dairy products;
· Bread and cereals;
· Other foods such as snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages; and
· Seeds and plants, which produce food for the household to eat.
Households CANNOT use P-EBT benefits to buy:
· Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, or tobacco
· Vitamins, medicines, and supplements. If an item has a Supplement Facts label, it is considered a supplement and is not eligible for SNAP purchase.
· Live animals (except shellfish, fish removed from water, and animals slaughtered prior to pick-up from the store).
· Foods that are hot at the point of sale
· Any nonfood items such as:
· Pet foods
· Cleaning supplies, paper products, and other household supplies.
· Hygiene items, cosmetics
“This second round of P-EBT benefits is part of our continued service to Mississippi families and children whose normal learning environment was disrupted by the pandemic,” MDHS Executive Director Robert G. “Bob,” Anderson said. “The Mississippi Department of Human Services is providing this tangible help to Mississippi children to create hope for tomorrow.”