ADE and DES announce rollout of additional nutrition assistance for Arizona families
Sections    Friday March 31st, 2023

ADE and DES announce rollout of additional nutrition assistance for Arizona families

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  • Richie Taylor   |   Office of Superintendent Kathy Hoffman

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The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) and Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) are proud to announce the rollout of the Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfer or P-EBT. Authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, P-EBT provides families of eligible children additional funds to purchase food during the 2020-2021 school year. P-EBT is a complement to the meals and snacks currently being provided to children through the Child Nutrition Programs at Arizona schools.  

P-EBT funds are intended to support families whose children are enrolled in the National School Lunch Program but have not or do not currently have access to receive a free or reduced-price meal at school during the school day due to a school closure or instances of distance learning. Families who qualify will receive funds for each of the months their child’s school offered distance learning during the 2020-2021 school year, starting from August 2020 and ending in May 2021. Receiving a meal/snack through the Child Nutrition Programs (curbside, mobile stops, delivery) during distance learning does not prevent a child from receiving P-EBT. 

“I am so thankful for the collaboration between ADE and DES to provide this federal assistance to Arizona families,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman. “Too many families have struggled with food and economic insecurity due to the pandemic over the last year. The P-EBT program will have an immediate and direct impact for Arizona’s families and students.” 

In collaboration to serve the Arizona families who are counting on this support, ADE will collect information on student eligibility and school learning model(s) for the 2020-2021 school year. ADE will relay that data to DES who will then distribute the payments to families directly by loading payments to SNAP cards or to P-EBT cards that were previously issued in April of last year. If families no longer have a card, they can request a new/replacement card from DES here. Students and their families can expect to receive this assistance as soon as April. 

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved Arizona’s plan to administer P-EBT funds to households of children who qualify on a monthly basis for each month of the 2020-2021 School Year. All eligible children in the school will either receive a full or partial payment depending if the school required or offered distance learning for the majority of that calendar month. Students must be enrolled in a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program to be eligible for P-EBT. More information about a P-EBT, including full and partial monthly amounts, can be found on the DES website