Students at eligible schools impacted by COVID-19 may qualify for pandemic food assistance

P-EBT provides benefits for students who miss school lunches because of pandemic-related closures.
Published: Apr. 16, 2021 at 3:56 PM EDT
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DELTA COUNTY, Mich. (WLUC) - Students in need have access to meals amid the pandemic thanks to a state program.

Gladstone and Rapid River Schools are both eligible for the state’s EBT food program. It ensures students who depend on their school for lunch won’t go hungry.

“You never want to have a circumstance where someone’s just not able to access that,” said Jay Kulbertis, Gladstone and Rapid River superintendent.

According to Kulbertis, students already eligible for the program now qualify for Pandemic-EBT. P-EBT provides additional benefits for students who miss school lunches because in-person classes are canceled due to the pandemic.

“If we’re shut down for any reason, students that are registered with the state program automatically get that benefit,” Kulbertis said.

Kulbertis says the money for missed meals is directly transferred onto the student’s EBT card, which their family can then use to purchase food.

The P-EBT program also helps students who can’t make it to school because COVID-19 has impacted their home. However, Kulbertis says some paperwork is required.

“If they test positive, they’re on quarantine, or they have other issues that make them miss their school meal, then they can fill out a form, file it with the Department of Health and Human Services, and still get a benefit even though the school remained open,” explained Kulbertis.

Kulbertis says making sure students have access to food is crucial to their education and wellbeing, especially with all the challenges they’ve faced since the pandemic first hit.

“There’s so much uncertainty that we certainly don’t want food insecurity to be compounding any of these other problems,” he said.

Check with you school district to see if it qualifies for the P-EBT program. For more information on P-EBT, click here.

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