Virginia to implement Pandemic EBT program

Mon, 05/11/2020 - 16:15

The Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) will provide Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) benefits to families of school-age children who no longer have access to free or reduced-price school meals due to public school closures. Virginia is one of 20 states approved by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Services to implement the P-EBT program, which provides temporary food assistance to cover the cost of meals missed while schools are closed.

Eligible households include students who receive free or reduced-price school meals, as well as students enrolled in schools that provide free meals to all students through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program’s Community Eligibility Provision. In the City of Winchester, 2,637 children will receive P-EBT. This includes children enrolled in elementary school and children who qualify for free or reduced-priced meals.

Families are not required to be current SNAP participants or complete an application to qualify for P-EBT benefits. Qualifying families will be automatically enrolled in the program.

Eligible households that are currently receiving SNAP benefits can expect to have P-EBT benefits added to their EBT card within the next two weeks. P-EBT cards will be mailed to households that do not receive SNAP benefits within the next four to six weeks. The P-EBT benefits are calculated at the rate of $5.70 per day per child for the 66 days Virginia’s schools will be closed. VDSS will issue benefits to eligible households with a total benefit of $376 per eligible student.

Families and community partners are encouraged to visit for more information about the P-EBT program and answers to frequently asked questions, which will be updated regularly over the coming weeks.

To learn more about food assistance resources and other COVID-19-related programs, visit