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SUMMER P-EBT AND KEIKI P-EBT DISTRIBUTED BY DHS THIS MONTH Since March 2020 more than 127,000 children received $328 million in food assistance support

HONOLULU – The Hawaiʻi Department of Human Services (DHS), in collaboration with the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education (HIDOE), has rolled-out a final Summer Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program (P-EBT) benefit this week.  

 

Benefits are allocated to children who participate in the free or reduced-price school meal program at their school, or attend a Community Eligibility Provision school, for the 2022-23 school year. More than 95,000 students were issued $13,300,000 in P-EBT benefits to help address their nutritional needs for this summer.

 

Starting in mid-2020, through multiple rounds of P-EBT, Summer P-EBT, and the Keiki Under 6 Food Support Program, DHS provided more than 127,000 eligible children with $328 million in food assistance support.

 

What is Summer P-EBT?

The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program is food assistance approved by the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)Food and Nutrition Service. It was authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) (P.L. 116-127) as amended by the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act (P.L. 116-159) as well as the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (P.L. 116-260).

 

Who is it for?

School-aged students who as of the last day of School Year 2022-2023:

  • Are either enrolled (this includes high school seniors) for free or reduced-price school meals at a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or
  • Are enrolled in a school that provides free meals to all students through the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) or another provision

(DOE CEP Schools [click here] or NSLP Charter and Private Schools [click here]) or

  • Returning students at DOE or NSLP Charter and Private Schools who apply for free or reduced-price school meals by August 6, 2023, and are later determined eligible and enrolled for free or reduced-price school meals at a school that participates in the NSLP.

 

Do families need to apply for Summer P-EBT benefits?  

There is NO APPLICATION for Summer P-EBT benefits. Eligible students are automatically enrolled through verification with the NSLP-participating school. Eligibility requirements are:

  • Enrolled in Department of Education or NSLP-participating Charter and Private schools as of the last day of the school year and
  • Enrolled for free or reduced-price school meals at their school or
  • Enrolled in a school that provides free meals to all students through the CEP or another provision.

 

What if my school-aged child is NOT enrolled in free or reduced-priced school lunch?

If your school-aged child is in need and is NOT enrolled in the free or reduced-price school lunch program, (and you would like for them to receive P-EBT benefits), please apply via EZMealApp.com between July 15, 2023 through August 6, 2023 if your child is attending a DOE school. For children attending a NSLP-participating Charter or Private school, please contact your school.

 

How Does this Work?

Eligible students will have their benefits issued to their own Hawaiʻi P-EBT account that is accessible through a Hawaiʻi P-EBT card (white card with black lettering) that they received for previous P-EBT benefits.

 

For newly eligible students that did not previously receive P-EBT, they will be mailed separate Hawaiʻi P-EBT cards in the name of each eligible student.

 

What if I need a replacement card?

If a replacement Hawaiʻi P-EBT card is needed, please call the P-EBT call center at 1-888-975-PEBT(7328) or write to us by clicking the “Contact Us” button at pais-pebt.dhs.hawaii.gov and mention you are requesting a replacement Hawaiʻi P-EBT card.

 

What foods can P-EBT benefits buy?

  • Benefits can be used to purchase SNAP-eligible foods, such as groceries (including frozen), snacks, and seeds or plants that will produce food. You can’t use the benefits to purchase alcohol, tobacco products, vitamins, live animals, prepared foods, or any non-food household items.
  • For a list of SNAP-eligible foods, see www.fns.usda.gov/snap/eligible-food-items.
  • The Hawai‘i P-EBT cards can be used with the Da Bux program and also at participating Farmers Markets. Visit the Hawai`i Farmer’s Market Association and click on each island to find “Accepts SNAP/EBT” where applicable.

 

How Much Will Students/Children Receive for the Summer benefit?

  • The amount of Summer P-EBT benefit that covers the summer period starting from July 15, 2023 through August 6, 2023 is $139 per student/child.
  • A letter will be mailed starting from June 20, 2023 to notify you that your student/child will be receiving the Summer P-EBT benefit.

 

When will benefits be issued?

The Summer P-EBT benefits were loaded to the Hawaiʻi P-EBT accounts and available on June 28, 2023.

 

Note:  For school-aged students who apply for free or reduced-priced meals after the 2022-2023 school year ended and by August 6, 2023 and are determined eligible and enrolled in free or reduced priced meals, Summer P-EBT benefits for 2023 will be issued on September 12, 2023.

 

Do I or my child have to be a U.S. citizen to receive P-EBT benefits?

No. These benefits are for all children who are either enrolled for free or reduced-price school meals or enrolled at a school that provides free meals to all students through the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) or another provision. Using P-EBT benefits will NOT affect a parent or child’s immigration status.

 

Will there be any future P-EBT benefits after this Summer P-EBT?

No, unfortunately the Summer 2023 P-EBT benefits is the last authorized P-EBT benefit that States may be able to offer.  With the expiration of the COVID federal public health emergency, states will no longer be authorized to issue any P-EBT benefits after September 30, 2023.  Hawaii’s P-EBT program, including its P-EBT call center, will close on September 30, 2023.

 

Where can I call if I have more questions (such as where can I report a change of address)?

You can call the P-EBT call center at 1-888-975-PEBT(7328) or write to us by clicking the “Contact Us” button at pais-pebt.dhs.hawaii.gov.

 

What is Keiki P-EBT?

The Keiki Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program is food assistance approved by the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service. It was authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act(FFCRA) (P.L. 116-127) as amended by the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act (P.L. 116-159) and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (P.L. 116-260).

 

Who is it for?

  • Children under the age of 6 years old as of August 1, 2022 and has received SNAP benefits at any time between January 1, 2023 thru May 11, 2023. The child(ren) must have received SNAP benefits in the month in order to be eligible for P-EBT benefits for the month.

 

Important information from Hawaii Department of Human Services:  There is NO APPLICATION for Keiki P-EBT benefits. Eligible children are automatically enrolled for Keiki P-EBT through verification of SNAP participation with the Department’s eligibility system.

 

How Does this Work?

Eligible children will have their benefits issued to their family’s existing SNAP account and Kokua EBT. If the eligible child(ren) received SNAP in any of the months between January 2023 through May 11, 2023, and are no longer receiving SNAP, a P-EBT payment for each of the months the eligible child(ren) will be issued to the last existing SNAP account and Kokua EBT card. If a replacement card is needed, please see the IMPORTANT NOTE below.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: If a replacement card is needed (Kokua EBT or Hawaiʻi P-EBT) please call the Fidelity Information Service (FIS) customer service at 1- 888-328-4292.

 

How Much Will Children Receive?

For the months of January 2023 through April 2023, the amount a child may be able to receive is $46 for each month the child(ren) received SNAP. For the month of May, the amount a child may be able to receive is $23 if the child received SNAP in the month of May.

 

Letters were mailed starting from June 12, 2023 to inform you how much your child will be receiving for the August to-May period.

 

When will benefits be issued?

The Keiki P-EBT benefits for the period January 2023 through May 11, 2023 were loaded to the family’s Kokua EBT account on June 14, 2023.

 

Will there be any additional P-EBT issued?

Unfortunately, due to the expiration of the federal public health emergency related to COVID on May 11, 2023, states are not authorized to issue additional P-EBT to children eligible for Keiki P-EBT for periods beyond May 11, 2023.

 

Where can I call if I have more questions (such as where can I report a change of address)?

You can call the P-EBT call center at 1-888-975-PEBT(7328), or write to us by clicking the “Contact Us” button at https://pais-pebt.dhs.hawaii.gov/

 

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Media Inquiries Only:

Amanda Stevens

Public Information Officer

Department of Human Services

(808) 586-4892

[email protected]