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Summer P-EBT Benefits Begin July 2021

July 18, 2021, 10:49 AM HST
* Updated July 18, 4:25 PM
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The Hawaiʻi Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education (HIDOE) have announced the roll-out of Summer Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program (P-EBT) benefits this week. Benefits are allocated to children who qualify for free or reduced-price school meals, or attend a Community Eligibility Provision school during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, children under 6 years of age are eligible for benefits under the Keiki Under 6 Food Support Program if they receive SNAP benefits at any time between June 1, 2021, and Aug. 2, 2021.

Through Rounds 1, 2,  and 3 of P-EBT, and the Keiki Under 6 Food Support Program, DHS provided more than 111,000 eligible children with $184 million in food assistance support.

What is Summer P-EBT?

The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program is food assistance approved by the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service, and authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act as amended by the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. 

Who is it for?

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Students who, as of the last day of School Year 2020-2021, meet one of the three requirements below:

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•Are enrolled (this includes high school seniors) for free or reduced-price school meals at a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) OR…

•Who are enrolled in a school that provides free meals to all students through the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) or another provision. For a list of CEP schools: www.hawaiipublicschools.org/TeachingAndLearning/HealthAndNutrition/StudentHealthResources/Pages/CEP.aspx OR…

•Who apply for free or reduced-price school meals by August 2, 2021, and are determined eligible and enrolled for free or reduced-price school meals at a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).

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What about my child who is younger than 6 and not enrolled in an NSLP school?

They are eligible for benefits under the Keiki Under 6 Food Support Program if they receive SNAP benefits at any time between June 1, 2021, and August 2, 2021. You can get information about children in this group here: http://humanservices.hawaii.gov/blog/keiki-under-6-food-support-program/

Do families need to apply for Summer P-EBT benefits?

No. There is NO APPLICATION for Summer P-EBT benefits. Eligible children are automatically enrolled for P-EBT through verification depending on their age:

  • For students, the Department of Education (DOE) and NSLP-participating Charter and Private schools verify that students are either enrolled for free or reduced-price school meals at a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program, or they are enrolled in a school that provides free meals to all students through the Community Eligibility Provision or another provision.
  • Children under 6 are eligible for benefits under the Keiki Under 6 Food Support Program if they receive SNAP benefits at any time between June 1 – August 2, 2021.

Important information that will help families receive Summer P-EBT benefits:

If your child is in need and is NOT enrolled in the free and reduced-price school lunch program (and you would like for them to receive P-EBT benefits), apply via EZMealApp.com by August 2, 2021, if your child is attending a DOE school. For children attending a NSLP-participating Charter or Private school, contact your school.

How does this work?

  • Eligible students will have their benefits issued to their own Hawaiʻi P-EBT account that is accessible through a Hawaiʻi P-EBT card (white card with black lettering) or a Kokua EBT card.
  • For newly eligible students that did not receive P-EBT for the 2020-21 school year, they will be mailed a Hawaiʻi P-EBT card.
  • Families new to the program that are mailed a Hawaiʻi P-EBT card will receive a card in the name of each eligible student.
  • For children under 6 years of age, eligible children will have their benefits issued to their family’s existing SNAP account and Kokua EBT.

What foods can P-EBT benefits buy?

  • P-EBT benefits can be used to buy SNAP-eligible foods, such as groceries (including frozen), snacks, and seeds or plants that will produce food. You can’t use P-EBT benefits to buy alcohol, tobacco products, vitamins, live animals, prepared foods, or any non-food household items. For a list of SNAP-eligible foods, see www.fns.usda.gov/snap/eligible-food-items.
  • Hawaiʻi P-EBT cards can also be used in the Da Bux program and at participating farmer’s markets.

How much will students/children receive for the summer benefit?

  • Students/children will receive benefits of $438 per student/child to cover the summer period starting from June 1, 2021, through August 2, 2021.
  • A letter, separate from the Hawaiʻi P-EBT card, will be mailed in early July 2021, to inform you how much your student/child will be receiving for the summer.

When will benefits be issued?

The Summer P-EBT benefits will be loaded to the Hawaiʻi P-EBT accounts, or SNAP EBT accounts, and be available on the following dates:

Benefit Availability              Amount

July 7, 2021                       $219

August 10, 2021                $219

Note:  For students who apply for free or reduced priced meals after the 2020-2021 school year ends and by August 2, 2021, and are determined eligible and enrolled in free or reduced priced meals, Summer P-EBT benefits will be issued in the later part of August 2021.

Do I or my child have to be a U.S. citizen to receive P-EBT benefits?

No. These benefits are for all children who are either enrolled for free or reduced-price school meals or enrolled at a school that provides free meals to all students through the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) or another provision. Using P-EBT benefits will NOT affect a parent or child’s immigration status.

Where can I check on my child’s P-EBT benefit status?

Go to humanservices.hawaii.gov and click on the P-EBT status banner.

Where can I call if I have more questions or report changes like if I move?

You can call the P-EBT call center at 1-888-975-PEBT (7328) or write to them by clicking the “Contact Us” button at pais-pebt.dhs.hawaii.gov. If a replacement card is needed, call the Fidelity Information Service (FIS) customer service at 1- 888-328-4292 and mention you are requesting a replacement Hawaiʻi P-EBT or Kokua EBT card.

What if my card is lost or stolen?

If you need a replacement card (Kokua EBT or Hawaiʻi P-EBT) call the Fidelity Information Service (FIS) customer service at 1- 888-328-4292 and mention you are requesting a replacement card for a P-EBT account (if requesting a Hawai’i P-EBT card).

Where can I call if I have more questions (such as where can I report a change of address)?

Contact the P-EBT call center at 1-888-975-PEBT(7328), or send an email message to [email protected].

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