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$1.4 Billion Pandemic Food Benefits for Texas Families; Gov. Greg Abbott Says

Gov. Greg Abbott announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture gave the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) the approval for the fifth round of federal Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) food benefits for Texas families with children who were cut off from summer meal programs that are funded by the federal government due to COVID-19.

In a press release, Gov. Abbott assured that the government of Texas is making efforts to guarantee that families and kids affected by school closures can access healthy meals. He expressed his gratitude to the HHSC and TEA for their partnership with the USDA in providing food assistance to families in Texas.

Wayne Salter, HHS deputy executive commissioner of Access and Eligibility Services, said that they were so proud to be supporting Texas families so they could feed their children.

The HHCS has been allowed by the federal government to supply more than $1.4 billion to more than 3.5 million qualified children in Texas as part of this fifth wave of pandemic food assistance. Texas families have received more than $6.32 billion in P-EBT food benefits through the fifth round of pandemic food benefits.

HHSC, the Texas Department of Agriculture, and the Texas Education Agency (TEA) have collaborated to create the P-EBT program. The P-EBT program offers a single allowance of $391 per qualified child in this round, which covers June to August, and can be used as one would utilize the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) funds to purchase groceries.

Eligible students must have been certified for free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program, enrolled at an NSLP campus at the end of the 2021-2022 school year, and not receive P-EBT benefits based on COVID-19-related absences.

Eligible Texans who did not receive SNAP or P-EBT before will receive a claim code in November. They will have 90 days to claim their benefits. Childcare-aged children who received SNAP food benefits between June and August 2022 will automatically get P-EBT benefits on their Lone Star Card.

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