Wisconsin Hunger Taskforce’s program free or reduced-price school meal

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SUAB HMONG NEWS (05/11/2020) – If you live in Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Hunger Taskforce offer free or reduced-price school meals for your children, if eligible.

Below is the information from the Wisconsin Hunger Taskforce.

WISCONSIN PANDEMICEBT

School closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately impact children from low-income households that rely on free and reduced-price meals to prevent hunger.  As a result, the USDA recently approved Wisconsin for Pandemic EBT (P-EBT). P-EBT offers an effective solution to overcoming barriers that may limit a child’s access to nutrition. As introduced in H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, P-EBT delivers nutrition assistance benefits on an EBT card that families can use to purchase food.

Who is eligible to receive P-EBT?

Families with children eligible for free or reduced-price meals attending schools with closures due to the pandemic are eligible to receive a pre-loaded EBT card for every eligible child in an amount no less than the value of school lunch and breakfast for the amount of time their school will be closed. This includes all children enrolled at schools implementing the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) where all children receive free breakfast and lunch. These EBT cards can be used everywhere that SNAP, or FoodShare, is used in Wisconsin.

How will families receive P-EBT?

Benefits will be issued in a phased approach, and, if information is not available through existing data, parents or guardians will be able to apply for the benefits through a streamlined application process.

FoodShare (SNAP) Households:

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) will confirm which children in SNAP households are eligible for P-EBT and load benefits onto the household’s existing EBT card.

Non-FoodShare (Non-SNAP) Households:

First, DHS will use data sets from various public benefits programs such as Medicaid, W-2 cash benefits (TANF), and the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FIDPR) to match information against other households known to Wisconsin’s CARES system, where all SNAP data is stored. Benefits are issued systematically, similar to the process for SNAP benefits. At the time of issuance, non-SNAP households will be mailed a new P-EBT card.

For households not known to CARES or other public benefit programs, the state will utilize an application process. Upon processing of the application, new P-EBT cards and benefits will be issued.

People who are issued the benefits based on existing data will receive a letter with information about the benefits. (See the letter for FoodShare members.) People receiving the P-EBT card will also receive a separate mailer containing the card and information about using the card.

People whose information is not available throughexisting data will receive information on how they can apply for the benefits.

How much will families receive and when?

Wisconsin is using the maximum allowable benefit for free breakfast ($2.20) and free lunch ($3.50). The daily benefit per child is therefore $5.70.

The state will begin issuing benefits for both March and April together beginning Monday, April 27. Benefit amounts will include March 19 through March 31 (9 days) and all of April (22 days).

At $5.50 per day, the total benefit issued for these two months will be $176.70 per child who receives free or reduced-price meals. For May and June combined, the benefit amount is $148.20 per child.

Where can Iget more information?

For further questions on Pandemic EBT please contact the Director of Advocacy at Hunger Task Force by email at maureen@hungertaskforce.org.