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Financial assistance extended to July 27 for families that qualify for free, reduced school lunches

Tennessee families who receive free or reduced meals at school or attend a Community Eligibility Provision school can receive assistance through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program.
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Published: Jun. 15, 2020 at 9:42 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 11, 2020 at 2:29 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Tennessee Department of Human Services and the Tennessee Department of Education announced families will continue to be eligible to receive financial support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tennessee families who receive free or reduced meals at school or attend a Community Eligibility Provision school can receive assistance through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program.

The program has been extended to July 27.

Parents will be provided with $5.70 per child for each day their children qualify for P-EBT.

“Families across our state depend on the meals their children receive at school and many were not prepared to immediately replace those meals when schools shut down for COVID-19,” said TDHS Commissioner Danielle W. Barnes. “The P-EBT program brings economic support to ensure children receive the nutrition they need. Helping families through this emergency is how we continue building a thriving Tennessee.”

Parents who already receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits not need to apply. Officials said the funds began arriving on the EBT card they currently use on June 12.

Parents who do not receive SNAP benefits, but whose children qualify for free or reduced school means, can apply online.

Individuals who need assistance completing their P-EBT application or have general questions about the program are encouraged to call the TDHS hotline at 1-833-496-0661 and select option 3. Qualifying families will receive P-EBT support in two installments, one for meals in March and April initially, and then one additional disbursement later next month for May meals.

“During the COVID-19 school closures, we saw an incredible, herculean effort to keep providing meal services to students and families,” said TDOE Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “This additional relief from P-EBT will be helpful during this time of uncertainty for families and it is important to make sure every eligible family knows about the program.”

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