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Oregon sending out $170 million in pandemic EBT cards to 434,000 eligible children

The food assistance benefit will be in addition to any SNAP benefits families already receive for their children.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Over the next few weeks, the Oregon Department of Human Services and Oregon Department of Education will issue $391 in food benefits to each eligible child in Oregon, according to an announcement from the two agencies.

The additional food benefits are part of a temporary program started during the pandemic meant to give additional food support for children whose access to food provided through school programs may have been impacted by COVID-19.

Pandemic EBT or P-EBT is in addition to any benefits that recipients already receive on their normal electronic benefit transfer cards. The P-EBT cards will be sent by mail to each eligible child starting in late March and will be sent in batches through the end of May 2023, state officials said.

Children are eligible for the P-EBT if they:

  • Were eligible to receive free or reduced-price National School Lunch Program meals during school year 2021-2022 or attended a Community Eligibility Provision school.
  • Were under the age of 6 and enrolled in SNAP during the summer 2022 months.

The state will send out two pieces of mail addressed to each eligible child. The first will be a letter notifying them they are eligible to receive the P-EBT benefit and a second letter with their P-EBT card with $391 of food benefits loaded onto it.

Households with multiple eligible children will receive individual letters and cards for each eligible child. Households will start receiving notification letters at the end of March and P-EBT cards will begin arriving in April.

In January, the state announced that it would halt additional Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits offered during the pandemic as federal funding for the program expired — meaning that SNAP benefits for households throughout the state reverted to pre-pandemic levels.

P-EBT does not replace any child nutrition program already offered, officials said, and families are encouraged to continue to participate in meal programs in their schools and communities.

Visit pebt.oregon.gov for more information about the P-EBT program. 

Families with specific questions about their child’s eligibility or P-EBT card can contact the P-EBT Call Center at (844) ORE-PEBT or (844) 673-7328. The P-EBT Call Center is available Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific in English, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Somalian, Mandarin and Cantonese. Callers may also request a translator for additional languages.

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