Deadline approaches for program providing free money to help feed families

SPOKANE, Wash.– Time is running out for families to apply for a federal program offering free money to put food on the table for kids.

Last spring, lawmakers established the Pandemic EBT Emergency School Meals Program. The program aimed to supplement the meals kids were missing when schools shut down. That help is still available, but not for much longer. Applications are due by Friday, Sept. 11 at 5 p.m.

Parents can apply for the P-EBT if they have at least on child in elementary, middle or high school. That child also needs to qualify for low or reduced cost meals. If a family meets the criteria, parents can receive up to $399 per child for food. Recipients will get an EBT card in the mail to use.

Even though this federal resource was announced months ago, many families who are eligible have still not applied. Rep. Marcus Riccelli of Spokane said parents of more than half of Spokane Public Schools students who could have this help haven’t applied for it.

“It’s tragic if we leave millions of dollars on the table, $87 million in Washington state that could go to food for families in need,” Riccelli said. “I would say, we all need help as a community at times. So if you need the help, please don’t be shy about it. Please apply.”

Citizenship or immigration status will not impact your child’s eligibility, according to Riccelli. This service is not considered under a public charge determination.

The application does not require a child’s social security number. Parents only need to share the child’s name, date of birth and school or school district.

The deadline to apply for this is Friday, Sept. 11 at 5 p.m. Apply HERE or call 877-501-2233 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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