DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) announced last Thursday the distribution plan for Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) food assistance benefits for eligible Iowa children under the age of six.
The federal Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021, and Other Extensions Act allows states to issue emergency food assistance benefits to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households with children under the age of six who were impacted by pandemic-related school changes and closures in their area.
P-EBT for children under age six is limited to those children who received SNAP benefits between October 2020 and May 2021. The P-EBT benefits for children under six will be loaded on the household’s existing SNAP card. The benefits will be loaded July 16 to 20 for the months of October 2020 through March 2021. Benefits for April and May 2021 will be loaded from August 11 to 20, 2021.
The allotment is the same for each eligible child, regardless of county, and the amount may vary month to month. The amount is determined using a statewide average of school days missed each month due to COVID-19, multiplied by the daily amount of $6.82 (set by the federal Food and Nutrition Service guidelines).
“The COVID-19 pandemic has made it more difficult for families to meet the nutritional needs of their children. These additional benefits will make it easier for parents to access healthy and nutritious food for their young children,” said Janee Harvey, DHS Division Administrator of Adult, Child and Family Services.
Parents are encouraged to visit the DHS comprehensive FAQ document available on the DHS website to find answers to the most common P-EBT questions and to find a current P-EBT phone line number for eligibility inquiries. Questions specifically about card activation and lost cards can be directed to 1-800-359-5802.