This page, Pandemic EBT (P-EBT), is offered by

Pandemic EBT (P-EBT)

Information about Pandemic EBT, or P-EBT.

P-EBT is a federal food assistance program. The Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), in collaboration with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), received approval to temporarily operate this program during the COVID-19 pandemic while schools were closed to in-person learning.

For more information, visit (website available in 6 languages).

Table of Contents

P-EBT Eligibility & Benefits

1. Who is eligible for P-EBT benefits?

P-EBT is a federal program created in Spring 2020 to provide additional funds for families to buy food during COVID-19 while schools were closed to in-person learning. 

Based on federal rules, students attending school in-person are not eligible for P-EBT. Universal free school meals are available for all Massachusetts students this 2021-2022 school year.

2. Will there be more P-EBT benefits?
More information will be shared for this school year when available. Keep your P-EBT card.

Additional Resources

Using P-EBT Benefits

1. I lost my P-EBT card. Can I get a new one (replacement card)?
Yes. Visit to request a new P-EBT card. Go to the P-EBT Card Replacement Request page. Enter your information. NOTE: some information is required, like child’s date of birth. The required information will say (required) next to it. Then click submit.

2. I got a P-EBT card in the mail. How do I activate (PIN) it?
You will need the letter DTA mailed to you with your student’s case number to activate (PIN) the card. The letter was mailed separately from the card. If you lost the letter, visit to view your student’s case number.

Visit for step-by-step guidance on how to activate (PIN) your P-EBT card.

3. Do I have to activate (pin) my student's P-EBT card by a specific date?
We encourage all families to activate each student's P-EBT card as soon as the card is received, but there is no set deadline to activate or PIN the P-EBT card. 
4. Do my P-EBT benefits roll over at the end of the month if I don’t use all of them?
Yes. The money will carry over from month to month. Benefits that are not used for over a year will be removed from the card.

5. How do I check my balance?
If you have a P-EBT card, you can check your balance by visiting Go to the P-EBT Case and Balance Information page (note: on a mobile phone, click on “How Close Am I?” to see the page). There enter you P-EBT card number. Your balance will show below your P-EBT case number. You can also call the number on the back of your P-EBT card (800-997-2555).

If you have a DTA EBT card, you can check your balance on, the DTA Connect mobile app or by calling the number on the back of your card. Note that your P-EBT will be added to any SNAP on your account – your balance will reflect both.

6. Where can I use my P-EBT benefits? What can I buy with them?
You can use your P-EBT benefits at any store that accepts SNAP, including 
from online Amazon, Stop & Shop, and Walmart, as well as ALDI, Hannaford, Price Chopper and Stop & Shop via Instacart. Most retailers have signs saying they accept SNAP or EBT. 

P-EBT benefits can be used to buy any food that can be bought with SNAP. SNAP eligible food is most foods, except prepared foods and foods sold hot. 

7. Will getting P-EBT impact my family’s ‘public charge’ status?
No. Using P-EBT benefits does not impact your or your child's immigration status. The Public Charge rule does NOT apply to P-EBT benefits.

SNAP benefits are also NOT counted in a Public Charge test. If you are not a US citizen, you can get SNAP for an eligible family member (like your U.S citizen child). 

8. Do P-EBT benefits replace grab and go school meal sites?
No. P-EBT benefits supplement grab and go meal sites. They do not replace them. Families can find a meal site in their community through Project Bread's School Meal Site Finder.

9. Can I participate in the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) with my P-EBT benefits?
No. P-EBT benefits are different than SNAP benefits and cannot be used to receive HIP benefits.

Community Outreach

1. I am a community organization looking to help spread the word on P-EBT. Where can I find flyers and other outreach materials?
Visit for flyers, social media graphics/text, robocall/text/email language in: Arabic, Cape Verdean, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, English, Haitian Creole, Khmer, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish & Vietnamese.

Questions & Extra Food Help

1. Who did I contact for questions on P-EBT?
Call the DTA Assistance Line at (877) 382-2363 or visit

2. I need more food help. Who do I contact?
For other food help, call the Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline at (800) 645-8333 (TTY 1-800-377-1292).