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Pandemic EBT Guidance for School Districts

Due to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals at school will get extra food benefits. These food benefits are called Pandemic EBT (P-EBT): Emergency School Lunch Program, or P-EBT benefits. P-EBT benefits help families in Washington buy food when school is closed.

Who can receive P-EBT?

Students enrolled in a K-12 school that offers a school lunch program during the normal school year AND
  • Is eligible for free or reduced-price school meals OR
  • Is attending a school where meals are free for all students such as a Provision 2 or Community Eligibility Provision School.

What role do schools play in sharing information to families?

  1. Distribute Information to Families  - Schools play a key role in helping distribute this information to families. OSPI has provided a communications toolkit to support schools in this effort.
  2. Continue to distribute, collect, and process free and reduced-price meal applications. - SY 19-20 Free and Reduced-Price Application | SY19-20 Income Guidelines
  3. Update your free and reduced meals eligibility data in CEDARS .

P-EBT Communication Toolkit

Getting Started: You can use as many of these resources as you would like. View our Sharing Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) Information guide for more details. You can also watch the Pandemic EBT and the Role of Schools webinar by using this link - during this webinar we review the different parts of the toolkit and answer questions!

  1. Review the School Information document: This provides an overview of the program and how we can use your help!
  2. Edit and send the Parent Letter Template: Edit this template to include your school district information. Feel free to add your district logo and contact information. You can print and mail the letter, send it using email, or use it in any way that is helpful for the families your district serves.
  3. Distribute the Parent Flyer: This easy-to-understand flyer contains all the information a family needs to get started with P-EBT benefits. You can also post the flyer on your website! Think about including physical copies in your emergency summer meal bags/boxes.
  4. Get Posting!: Use the social media graphics and messaging on your district social media accounts. Remember to direct families to the Pandemic EBT Medium blog post for more information and the Washington Connection website to apply!
  5. Got questions? Refer to the FAQ: The Frequently Asked Questions document can help answer questions you may receive and can be sent out to families.  

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