The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced in late May 2020 that Pandemic EBT (P-EBT), also sometimes referred to as P-SNAP, was approved statewide in Florida. P-EBT provides nutrition benefits to the families of more than 2 million children eligible for free or reduced-price school lunches and is administered by the Florida Department of Children and Families in partnership with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.(1)
For households with children who have temporarily lost access to free or reduced lunch because of school closures because of Covid-19, this assistance will help to fill the gap
Florida’s Department of Children and Families issued the benefits automatically during the month of June for children who were receiving free and reduced-price school meals prior to March 16, 2020, or would qualify for free or reduced-priced lunch because they either receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits; or attend a Community Eligibility Provision or Provision 2 school.
With the rate of food insecurity in Florida expected to increase to a staggering 18.7% in 2020 because of Covid-19 related impact, according to research done by Feeding America (2) and an expected nearly 3 million additional missed meals for Floridians, based on Feeding Florida’s Missing Meal Analysis (3), this puts many households with children at an increased risk of food insecurity and lack of proper nutrition. For children, that nutrition is especially important to their development and immune strength
P-EBT and SNAP/EBT Doubled at Participating Florida Farmers Markets, Farm Stands, CSA's and Mobile Markets
The P-EBT benefit works in conjunction with Florida’s statewide nutrition incentive program, Fresh Access Bucks, to make sure that making healthy food choices on a budget is easy. Fresh Access Bucks offers all SNAP/EBT and P-EBT customers FREE fresh fruit and vegetables at any of the over 50 participating farmers markets, farm stands, mobile markets or CSAs across the state. SNAP and P-EBT customers simply use their card at the outlets, and Fresh Access Bucks will match what they spend, with FREE produce. This means, if a customer spends $30 on food with SNAP or P-EBT, they receive $30 free for healthy, nutritious, produce. Right now, through 2020, there is no limit on the amount they can receive with the match.
The Fresh Access Bucks program strives to help fill the meal deficit with healthy fresh foods and in turn also benefit local communities and farms across the state, keeping food access sustainable for the future.
To find out more about P-EBT benefits or see if you qualify, visit the Florida Department of Children and Families P-EBT FAQ or call Florida Department of Children and Families at 1-833-311-0321.
To find a Fresh Access Bucks outlet near you visit our map of farmers markets, CSA's, mobile markets and farm stands accepting SNAP/EBT and P-EBT.