The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has announced that it has received approval for the fourth time to issue Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) benefits to eligible children for the 2022-2023 school year.

Payments will be dispersed in early May to eligible households with children in grades K-12. Childcare and summer benefits will be issued in the late summer, officials added.

Lunch box with Sandwiches, bottle of water and school supplies

This is the fourth year that Louisiana has issued P-EBT benefits. Since 2020, DCFS has issued more than $1.14 Billion in P-EBT benefits to more than 1.2 million children.

Officials said benefits are being issued in a tiered approach for school year P-EBT. It is based on the number of days a child missed due to COVID per month at a rate of $8.18 per day.

Children who previously received P-EBT benefits will have school year 2022-23 and summer P-EBT benefits issued to their existing P-EBT cards.

In most cases, there is no P-EBT application process for parents/guardians. Schools will report to DCFS which students meet the criteria for eligibility.

Parents/guardians of eligible homeschooled and virtual school students must complete an application with their local public school or approved virtual school by Thursday, May 11, 2023.

Elementary Pupils Collecting Healthy Lunch In Cafeteria
monkeybusinessimages, Getty Stock / ThinkStock

What is P-EBT for K-12 students?

The Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) Program was created in Spring 2020 to provide funds for families to buy food while schools were closed due to COVID-19. More P-EBT funds are being issued for the 2022-23 school year and will be available this summer.

> Eligible students in approved quarantine due to COVID-19 for:

  • 1-5 school days in a month: $24.54 per month
  • 6-15 school days in a month: $81.80 per month
  • More than 15 days in a month: $147.24 per month

Before a school is eligible to issue P-EBT, the school must have at least one student with five consecutive absences due to COVID-19.

Will your child receive P-EBT?

A child is eligible for SY 2022-23 P-EBT benefits if two conditions are met:

  1. He or she has an approved application for free- or reduced-price meals under the NSLP. This includes any student in a school that provides free meals to all students (under a special rule called “Community Eligibility Provision (CEP)”), AND
  2. The child does not receive free or reduced-price meals at the school because the school is closed or has been operating with reduced attendance or hours for at least five consecutive days in the current school year. Once the minimum five consecutive day threshold is met for a school, children at that school are eligible to receive P-EBT benefits for closures, reductions in hours or quarantines/absences due to COVID-19.

See How School Cafeteria Meals Have Changed Over the Past 100 Years

Using government and news reports, Stacker has traced the history of cafeteria meals from their inception to the present day, with data from news and government reports. Read on to see how various legal acts, food trends, and budget cuts have changed what kids are getting on their trays.

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