Deadline nears for low-income families for $313 benefit

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – A deadline for expanded food and economic benefits for Kentucky families is expiring and statewide groups are encouraging families to apply now.

Feeding Kentucky and The Kentucky Center for Economic Policy are joining together with partners across the state to make sure families apply for Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) benefits before the August 31 deadline.

P-EBT helps households with eligible students who missed school meals in March, April and May 2020 by providing a benefits card that families can use to buy food. Families can receive up to $313.50 for each child who received free or reduced price meals at school prior to COVID-related school closures.

While many have already benefited, there are roughly 117,000 Kentucky students who qualify but whose parents or guardians have not yet applied.

“Kentucky families and kids who benefit from free and reduced- price school meals to make ends meet missed out because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Karena Cash, advocacy coordinator at Feeding Kentucky, “Pandemic EBT gives these families some cushion, providing them with the much needed funds they need to ensure their kids have enough food to eat.”

Martina Leforce, a mother and aunt of Berea Community School students, said, “P-EBT is our government acknowledging that it is hard to make ends meet at this time. It is not just for me, it’s also for those 87 percent of children in my district who were getting free lunch until the schools closed. There is a lot I have to worry about, and food security at this time, is one less worry thanks to this program.”

The Kentucky Center for Economic Policy estimates that if all 117,000 families applied, Kentucky’s economy would receive a boost of over $35 million.

“Programs like these are so important in local communities,” said Tod Griffin, executive director of the Kentucky Grocers and Convenience Store Association. “It helps ensure families receive meals while schools are closed, but it also helps provide local jobs and economic resources for local grocers and retailers.”

Any student who received free or reduced price meals at school prior to COVID-related school closures is eligible. There is no income limit to participate in the program. P-EBT does not impact the public charge rule.

Benefits should have been added automatically for families with an EBT card. Families without a current EBT card or who haven’t received these benefits yet need to apply at

For more information about requirements and qualifications, visit

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