- Department of Transitional Assistance
Media Contact for Massachusetts Approved to Continue P-EBT Food Benefits for Kids Under Six Receiving SNAP
Alana Davidson, Director of Communications
Boston — The Baker-Polito Administration announced today that Massachusetts has received federal approval to continue Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) benefits for households with children under six years old who receive assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Approximately 72,000 young children and their families will benefit in addition to nearly $30 million of federal dollars will come into the state. P-EBT was a new child nutrition program created during the public health emergency to promote increased food security for students and children who missed school or could not go to childcare due to COVID-19.
“The Baker-Polito Administration has pursued all available federal flexibilities and tools to support children and families impacted by the economic fallout from the pandemic. This P-EBT plan approval adds another critical tool to the Commonwealth’s effort to leverage federal funds, promote food security, and provide additional food assistance to young children and their families,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders.
“P-EBT has proven to be an effective resource during the COVID-19 pandemic to help families directly purchase healthy, culturally appropriate food and support our local food retailers and their employees,” said Department of Transitional Assistance Acting Commissioner Mary Sheehan. “The Commonwealth’s continuation of P-EBT for families with children receiving SNAP will support our youngest learners, for whom access to nutritious food is vital for healthy growth and development.”
Households with children under six who received SNAP benefits at any point during September 2021 through November 2021 will receive P-EBT on June 25. For childcare days during these months, families will receive $37 a month for each eligible child. In accordance with federal guidance, the benefit amount is based on the average reduction in Child and Adult Care Feeding Program (CACFP) meals served in childcare settings compared to the same time period prior to the pandemic. The reduction in meals is due to settings closing or reducing hours/attendance because of COVID-19. Information on P-EBT payments for December 2021 through June 2022 childcare days will be available on MAp-EBT.org.
Families will receive their P-EBT benefits on their SNAP EBT card. Families can check their P-EBT balance on DTAConnect.com, the DTA Connect mobile app or by calling the number on the back of their card. P-EBT benefits can be used anywhere SNAP benefits are accepted, including online from select retailers. Learn more about P-EBT at MAp-EBT.org.
K-12 students and their families will start to receive P-EBT for school year 2021-2022 on May 25, 2022. Massachusetts initially launched its P-EBT program in April 2020 when schools closed due to COVID-19, was one of a limited number of states to receive federal approval for September P-EBT benefits, and was the first state in the nation to receive approval to continue P-EBT through school year 2020-2021. In March 2021, the 2020-2021 program was extended to provide P-EBT benefits for children in child care.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act established the option for states to establish P-EBT and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 allows states to continue providing P-EBT for families into 2021-2022.