Financial help available for low-income families

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) and the Kentucky Department of Education are partnering to provide food assistance to families who have lost access to free or reduced-price school meals during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency.

Beginning May 23, Kentucky families with students who normally receive free or reduced-price meals at school may get financial assistance to replace those meals through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program, part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

The state is receiving $163 million in federal funds to pay for the benefits to families. The benefit amounts to about $313.50 a month.

“These parents will be provided some additional benefits so they can use that to feed their children so that they don’t go hungry because they’re missing meals at school,” said CHFS Secretary Eric Friedlander. “When you apply for these benefits, its not just you as the individual that benefits. It’s your grocers, its your local businesses, it is the entire food system in Kentucky that benefits.”

Families who already receive assistance can receive P-EBT in addition to other benefits their household may get.

Children who already receive SNAP, Kentucky Transitional Assistance Program assistance, Kinship Care or Medicaid will automatically receive P-EBT on their EBT cards and do not need to apply separately.

P-EBT benefits will be added to existing EBT cards no later than May 28.

Families of all other children must complete a short online application and will be mailed an EBT card with instructions on how to activate and use their card. Apply or get information from June 2 through June 30 at www.benefind.ky.gov or 855-306-8959.

Students who became eligible for free or reduced lunch after March 13 are eligible for P-EBT.

For more information, click here.

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