TULSA, Okla. — With August right around the corner, parents will be preparing to send their children back to school virtually, or in-person.
However, expenses like supplies or school lunches may be difficult to buy due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Now, a new program is here to help.
The program is called Pandemic-EBT benefits, or P-EBT for short.
If a family currently receives free or reduced lunch, they automatically qualify for this program, so no application is needed.
Patrick Klein, with the Adult and Family Division in the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, says these benefits will automatically go to existing SNAP or EBT cards.
Families without a card will have one mailed to them.
“I am really proud of that and our staff and the way they stepped up for Oklahoma families, in addition, I am really appreciative to the State Department of Human Services, and their collaboration with us on this effort. We would not have been able to bring this benefit to Oklahoma without their assistance and help.”
This card can only be used to purchase food at grocery stores and food markets.
Cleaning supplies and other items cannot be purchased with these benefits.
Due to record numbers in SNAP and EBT applications, OKDHS will not complete all processing to families until August 30.
“We are asking families to please be patient with us, and if you’re eligible for the program, you will receive a P-EBT card in the mail, or if you’re an existing SNAP recipient, you’ll received the additional benefits on your existing SNAP EBT card.”
This new program is estimated provide SNAP benefit holders with up to $35.9 million, and 231,863 non SNAP households, with up to $75.1 million spread across all families.
They want to emphasize that families with questions should wait until after August 30 to call if they need help.
For those who don't qualify for free and reduced meals, or SNAP benefits, Klein says OKDHS is always available to help those in need.
The phone number to call if you need help with other needs is 405-522-5050. A link for additional details and information is here.
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