Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service

How To Get $375 Per Child for Summer Meals

Eligible parents can collect from Summer P-EBT program run by state DHS.

By , Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service - Jun 30th, 2021 10:43 am
Two new programs will deliver free meals to families with children 18 and younger this summer. This photo is from a community meals event in 2014. NNS file photo.

This photo is from a community meals event in 2014. NNS file photo.

Families who qualified for Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer, or P-EBT, or who are awarded FoodShare this summer are eligible to receive an additional $375 per eligible child for buying groceries.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services, or DHS, is now offering a new program called Summer P-EBT. This program is similar to the previous P-EBT programs for school-aged children and children under 6 years old.

According to the plan approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, parents are eligible if they meet at least one of the following conditions:

  • They received some P-EBT benefits due to learning virtually at some point during the 2020-21 school year.
  • Their child was enrolled in the free or reduced price meal program during the months of May or June at a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program and/or School Breakfast Program but who received zero dollars in P-EBT benefits during the 2020-2021 school year.
  • They apply for FoodShare before Sept. 1 and are approved. (The application must be submitted before Sept. 1 but can be approved after that date.)

For Summer P-EBT, parents will receive either the full $375 per child or none at all. Previous P-EBT programs allowed parents to receive partial benefits based on how often their child was learning remotely, but no partial benefit will be awarded for Summer P-EBT.

DHS officials said that eligible parents should see the money automatically deposited on their QUEST card or P-EBT card during the weekend of Aug. 21. Most eligible parents will receive the full $375 on this weekend, though DHS will also be administering a “catch-up issuance” in September for families that did not.

If you received summer meals from a food pantry or food service program, such as MPS’ “Stop, Grab and Go” program, you can still be eligible.

School P-EBT, Pre-6 P-EBT, Summer P-EBT: What’s the difference?

Though they go by the same name, each P-EBT program is separate and has slightly different eligibility requirements. All programs, however,  are focused on providing benefits to families that may have been eating at home more often during the COVID-19 pandemic for reasons such as a school or child care facility closed.

The School P-EBT is for parents of children that attended a school that participated in the National School Lunch Program but did not receive meals due to learning remotely at any point during the 2020-21 school year. You are eligible for this benefit if:

  • Your child’s school participates in the National School Lunch Program. A list of schools participating in the program is here
  • You are eligible for free or reduced-price meals
  • Your child spent at least one day in virtual learning during the 2020-21 school year. The amount you receive and when you receive it will be based on when your child was learning remotely.

The Pre-6 P-EBT is for parents of children who were younger than 6 on Oct. 1, 2020. You are eligible to receive this money for individual months from October 2020 through September 2021 if you:

  • Have at least one child who was under age 6 on Oct. 1, 2020, who did not attend a school that is part of the National School Lunch Program
  • Have gotten FoodShare in the month in question

The summer P-EBT program provides a benefit covering the months in between the 2020-21 school year and the 2021-2022. Eligibility conditions for this program are above.

Parents can be eligible for more than one P-EBT program, depending on the age of their child, how often that child was learning remotely or how often most children in their region were learning remotely

To inquire about your eligibility, or to follow up if you expected to receive a benefit and did not, email or call 1-833-431-2224.

You can also use News414 by texting “MKE” to 73224 to talk to a reporter about your eligibility and benefits as well as get connected to other resources related to food, housing, jobs or anything else. Your story will not be included in an article without your permission.

How eligible parents can receive $375 per child to offset summer meal costs was originally published by the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. 

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