Missouri families eligible for free or reduced price school meals can get a one-time pandemic electronic benefit transfer (P-EBT) payment. The state Department of Social Services says the benefit is available to each pre-K through 12th grade child in the household who qualifies.

Missouri households eligible for free or reduced price school meals can get pandemic payment

The aid is intended to help cover the cost of meals students have eaten at home on school days for March, April, and May. The amounts per child are $57 for March, $125 for April, and $120 for May. The maximum benefit per child is $302.

The state and school districts are working together to get applications out next week to student households to apply. Missouri estimates nearly 458,000 students could qualify for the aid.

“We know how important school meals are to so many Missouri families,” Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven says in a press release. “While public schools across the state have served over 5.4 million meals to students while school buildings have been closed, we know there is a need for more assistance and our team stands ready to make that happen.”

Only households getting food stamps that received their benefits in March automatically get a P-EBT benefit of $302 for each eligible child added to their existing EBT card and do not need to apply. Benefits will automatically be loaded to cards this week for around 196,325 students.

All households that did not get a food stamp benefit in March must apply and provide income information for March, April, and May to receive the P-EBT payment for each month the child is eligible. About 137,723 households or 261,675 children could get P-EBT aid.

Households can complete the application sent from their school district online through PrimeroEdge or mail the paper application by June 30 to DESE, Food and Nutrition Services.

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