Louisiana has been approved for the new Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT), which will provide help for families of more than 600,000 children across the state who normally receive free and reduced-price meals through their school systems.

The P-EBT benefit is $285 per month, per child and will rollover monthly but must be used within 365 days.

According to the LADOE, local school systems will notify families they might be eligible for P-EBT. The families must then apply if they wish to receive the benefits using a P-EBT portal on the LDOE website. The portal opens today and the final day to apply is June 7.

Once the child's information is verified, Department of Children and Family Services will mail a P-EBT debit card loaded with $285 per child, and instructions for using the card. State officials expect to begin mailing cards May 26. The cards may be used at any store that accepts SNAP to buy SNAP-eligible food items.

The new P-EBT benefits do not preclude students from continuing to access public school programs that are offering emergency or "grab and go" meals.

LDOE Website:

P-EBT Application:

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