School Families To Receive School Meal Replacement Benefits

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service authorized the Department of Human Services (DHS) to provide Oregon P-EBT Pandemic School Meal Replacement Benefits to more than 351,000 students receiving free or reduced-price school meals in Oregon, including almost 147,000 students already receiving Nutrition Assistance.

“Together, DHS and the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) are working to ensure no child in Oregon goes hungry during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dan Haun, DHS Self-Sufficiency Programs Director. “This resource is the result of our strong collaboration and will provide additional support for child nutrition and expand families’ options for healthy food.”

DHS and the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) announced this week that Oregon families with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals will get these cash benefits in late May even if they have been accessing meals from schools during the closure.

Households will receive benefits equivalent to one free lunch and one free breakfast for each eligible child – $5.70 per normal school day for the months of March, April, May and June.

Jamie Nicholson, CNP Manager for Lincoln County School District, emphasized, “Lincoln County School District families do not need to do anything to receive these benefits, no applications are needed.”

Benefits are for all LCSD students, including Lincoln City Career Tech, Eddyville Charter School, Siletz Charter School, and the Olalla Long Term Care and Treatment Center.

“We will continue our Meals On The Bus program until school ends, then LCSD will transition to a summer feeding program. We do not have enough information from ODE to say what that looks like yet, but we will provide something,”

Nicholson said. The Oregon P-EBT cards will provide additional food security for all LCSD students. Eligible Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households will have their March, April and May benefits automatically deposited to their existing Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) accounts in late May. LCSD students who do not receive SNAP benefits will automatically receive an Oregon Trail Card in the mail.

Benefits will be retroactive to March 16, 2020 for all LCSD students. Eligible families will receive the following for each child:

$69 for March

$126 for April

$120 for May

$69 in June

EBT cards may be used in local stores or for online food purchases through Amazon and Walmart (delivery fees not included). Additionally, the Double Up Food Bucks program matches every $1 of EBT funds spent on fresh fruit and vegetables – up to $10 – at participating local farmers markets. “The approval of this program highlights the tremendous partnership between ODE and DHS and our shared desire to strengthen our communities,” said Dustin Melton, Director of ODE’s Child Nutrition Programs. “The P-EBT program will support student’s nutritional needs during a time of crisis and uncertainty.”

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