From our colleagues at Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon:
Oregon has been approved to provide Pandemic EBT for the 2020-21 school year. This round of Pandemic EBT provides families financial support to cover the cost of school meals during school closures, reduced hours and attendance, or remote learning.
Pandemic EBT benefits are provided automatically to children:
- That are approved for federal free or reduced price school meals
- Attend a school (a Community Eligibility Provision school) that provides free meals to all students during normal school operations.
Additionally in this new round of P-EBT, children 0-6 who receive SNAP will also receive PEBT benefits. For this last category, children 0-5 will be automatically issued benefits, while children aged 6 who are not yet in school will need additional verification.
Pandemic EBT benefits will be provided retroactively from October 2020 through May 2021 and will be dispersed starting at the end of July 2021. Unlike the last round of Pandemic EBT, benefit amounts will not be fixed, will vary by month, and will depend on the status of schools in the eligible child’s school district. There are three possible statuses for schools in the district: fully remote learning or school is closed, a hybrid of remote learning and in-person instruction, or fully in-person.
- The full Pandemic EBT benefits are $136 per month and provided when the majority of students are primarily attending school virtually or a school is closed.
- Partial Pandemic EBT benefits of $75 per month are provided to students in hybrid learning.
- If students are in a school that is primarily operating in person, no PEBT benefits will be provided.
Please note benefits vary by month. For example, if a student was fully remote in October through March, in hybrid learning March through April, and fully in person in May, that family would receive a combination of the full benefit, the partial benefit, and no benefits, for each corresponding month.
Additionally, Pandemic EBT has been approved nationally to continue through the summer, Oregon still needs to receive approval on what this will look like, so more details to come.
It is important to communicate the following to families before benefits are dispersed:
If a family did not receive Pandemic EBT benefits last year, but may be newly eligible for free and reduced price school meals due to changes in their income, please encourage them to fill out the free and reduced price meal application by June 20th. If they are approved, they will receive PEBT benefits for the full 2020-2021 school year.
New cards will be mailed at the end of July and early August to each eligible child. If families received benefits last year, they will receive benefits for one student (the oldest child) on the card they were previously issued during the last round of P-EBT and receive new cards for other students in the household. If a household no longer has that card, they can request a new one by calling the ODHS card replacement line 1-855-328-6715 or email, OregonTrailCardDHS. Replacement@dhsoha.state.or.us .
The benefit card will be mailed to the most recent address on file for the child’s school. If a family’s address has changed, please contact the child’s school district to update by July 20th
If families have any questions, please have them contact the PEBT hotline 503-945-6481 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. or.us. Assistance in many languages provided.
Translations for the Pandemic EBT digital resources are now available for download in 7 additional languages (Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Somali, Vietnamese, Traditional and Simplified Chinese). You can find all versions on Hunger-Free Oregon’s Pandemic EBT webpage.
Hunger-Free Oregon has also created and will be constantly updating this Q&A google doc designed to support partners in answering community questions - please let us know if you have any questions that are not covered in that document.
Oregon Department of Human Services and Oregon Department of Education also have outreach resources for families and schools on their website: https://www.oregon.gov/dhs/assistance/food-benefits/pages/p-ebt.aspx