Pandemic EBT benefits to end completely after this summer

Pandemic EBT benefits to end completely after this summer
Published: Apr. 17, 2023 at 11:22 AM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday that the Pandemic EBT program will not be available in the 2023-2024 school year.

Per the announcement, the program helped 1.6 million children get healthy food during the past three years.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture granted the P-EBT extension to allow it to run this summer for K-12 students attending in-person schools, but it will end in May at the end of the school year for all other children, including children under 6 receiving Food and Nutrition Services, commonly known as food stamps. May is also the end of benefits for students attending a virtual or home school.

“To be eligible, a student must take part in their school’s free- or reduced-price meals program this school year. (Check here to see if your child’s school participates.) Students must be approved by May 31 to receive benefits this summer. They must also attend school in person. Eligible students will receive one payment of $120 in July to cover the summer. The payment is made to the card for families who receive FNS benefits or P-EBT benefits,” states the announcement from the NCDHHS.

Families who haven’t already qualified for free or reduced lunch should apply by May 1; applications take over a month to process and need to be approved by May 31. Enrollment for P-EBT and school meals is automatic for families that have FNS benefits on or before May 31.

“If you need information on how to apply for free or reduced-price meals, contact your child’s school. To apply for FNS, visit or apply through your local county department of social services. While P-EBT ends this summer, the FNS program is still available to North Carolina families. Families with children under 5 may be eligible for the WIC program and can learn more at,” states the announcement.