Search Site

This search form uses an instant search feature. As you type, search results will appear automatically below the search field. When you've entered you desired search terms use tab to navigate through the available results and hit enter to open the selected page or document.
Get Help Buying Food While Schools Are Closed
Get Help Buying Food While Schools Are Closed
Andrew Ward
Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Get help buying food while schools are closed

Families can receive up to $365 per child to spend on groceries in addition
to meals from school through a new program called Pandemic EBT or P-
EBT.

Apply by June 19th by calling 1-855-797-4357

To learn more, visit
https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/sites/maine.gov.dhhs/files/inline-files/P-EBT-PUBLIC-INFO-050720.pdf

Who is eligible?
Children are eligible for P-EBT benefits if they are eligible for free or
reduced-priced school meals and their school is closed due to COVID-19.

How will families get their P-EBT Benefits?

If a family currently receives SNAP or TANF they do not need to apply. The
P-EBT benefit will be added to their existing card. If a family does not have
SNAP/TANF but applied for Free or Reduced meals at their school and
were approved can receive the P-EBT benefit but they must call and apply.
They will get their P-EBT card in the mail.

How is the P-EBT card used?

The card will be used like a debit card. Families will get up to $365 per
eligible child on their P-EBT card to use on food and groceries.
*Students can still pick-up school breakfast and lunch if they receive P-EBT
benefits






Extra SNAP (food assistance) benefits for kids whose schools are closed are

coming soon for May and June!

More than 25,000 Maine families, including 45,000 children will soon get extra
SNAP benefits to help make up for free or reduced meals lost at schools. This
help will come from the Pandemic EBT Program (P-EBT).

Q. What is Pandemic EBT (P-EBT)?

A. Because of COVID-19 schools have shut down throughout Maine. Many
children are missing out on free or reduced school meals. P-EBT is a food
benefit that will help families with children ages 5-18 buy extra food while
schools are closed.

Q. Who can get P-EBT?

A. Any family with a child who received free or reduced school meals before
the school closed. If your child did not receive free or reduced meal, you can
still apply (see next question).
This help is available to families with children in immigrant families with any
immigration status or no status. P-EBT will not be considered in public charge
decisions.

Q. How do I get P-EBT for my family?
A. Here’s how:
√ If you get SNAP or TANF now, you do not have to do anything. Your P-EBT
benefits will be added to your monthly benefit beginning in May.


√ If you do not get SNAP or TANF, but your child got free or reduced lunch
you can apply for this extra help over the phone. Call: 1-855-797-4357.


√ If your child was not receiving free or reduced meals before your school
closed, you can apply now by calling your local school district. After your
child is eligible for school meals, call 1-855-797-4357 to apply for P-EBT.

Q. How much help will I get from P-EBT?

A. Families with children already receiving free or reduced meals will get:

• $189 per child for March and April, received in May; and

• $194 per child for May and June, received in June.


If your child did not get school meals before the school closed, but you just
signed up, you will get one benefit amount. This will begin in the month that
your child became eligible. For example, if your school district finds your child
eligible in May, you will receive one benefit amount for May and June.

Q. How will I receive P-EBT benefits?
A. P-EBT benefits will be added to a Pine Tree EBT card. If you already have a
Pine Tree card you do not have to do anything. These benefits will be added to
the card you have now.
If you do not have a card now DHHS will mail you one, with instructions about
how to activate your new card.
To activate your card, call the phone number on the back. You will need the
date of birth of the person whose name is on the card. If you do not receive
SNAP or TANF, the card will be in your child’s name. You may be asked to
provide the last 4 digits of your child’s social security number. If the child does
not have one, enter 9999. Finally, you will be asked to select a 4-digit PIN
number.