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PRIORITY NOTICE: IMPORTANT Survey Required To Implement Maine’s Approved Pandemic EBT Plan

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved the State of Maine’s Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) plan. The Maine Department of Education (Maine DOE) has partnered with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and supports the approved plan. This is an important step toward ensuring that all Maine children have access to nourishment, and that no child goes hungry.

P-EBT is part of a comprehensive USDA response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible children and adolescents will receive EBT cards with emergency funding to purchase food. These benefits are for children in all remote or hybrid schedules who would typically receive free or reduced-price meals during the school day.

In order to accurately provide benefits to students, Maine DOE is requiring all school administrative units (SAUs) who operate the USDA National School Lunch Program to complete a survey.

This survey must be completed online by May 10, 2021.  To assist SAUs in gathering information needed, a preview of the survey can be found here.

SAUs’ participation in this survey will assist in ensuring Maine children and adolescents who qualify can receive the benefits to which they are entitled. Those who qualify may retroactively receive up to $1,193.50 in pandemic food assistance benefits for the current school year.  Participation in this survey is vitally important to ensure eligible children and adolescents receive the assistance to which they are entitled.

For questions regarding the Department of Education’s role in P-EBT, contact Adriane Ackroyd, Maine Department of Education Child Nutrition at 207-592-1722  adriane.ackroyd@maine.gov.

For questions about the survey, contact Charlotte Ellis, Education Data Manager, Maine Department of Education, 207-624-6696, charlotte.ellis@maine.gov.

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In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: https://www.usda.gov/oascr/how-to-file-a-program-discrimination-complaint, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1)     mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2)      fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3)      email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

The Maine Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination because of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, religion, ancestry or national origin.

Complaints of discrimination must be filed at the office of the Maine Human Rights Commission, 51 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333-0051. If you wish to file a discrimination complaint electronically, visit the Human Rights Commission website at https://www.maine.gov/mhrc/file/instructions and complete an intake questionnaire. Maine is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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