Pandemic EBT Program

The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program helps families with eligible children whose access to meals or buying food has been impacted by COVID-19. P-EBT is a collaboration between the NC Department of Health and Human Services and the NC Department of Public Instruction. Click here to learn more about the P-EBT program.

The P-EBT program for students helps families whose access to free or reduced-priced meals at school has been impacted by COVID-19. North Carolina is expanding its P-EBT program to provide P-EBT to eligible children under 6 and continue P-EBT benefits through Summer 2021. 

Who is eligible for Student P-EBT? 

To be eligible for Student P-EBT, a student must meet these two criteria:

  • Be enrolled in a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and
  • Be eligible for free or reduced-price meals

The student must also meet both of the following learning circumstances:

  • The student’s school was closed or has been operating with reduced attendance for at least 5 consecutive days during the 2020 to 2021 school year, AND
  • The student is learning in a “remote learning mode” (all virtual instruction) or in a “hybrid learning mode” (combination of virtual and in-person instruction) during the month.

Click here to learn more about eligibility requirements.

Who is eligible for P-EBT for children under age 6?

Children under age 6 who are in households receiving Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) are eligible for P-EBT benefits. The expansion of this program is an expansion of the ongoing P-EBT benefits for students in an eligible school and in certain circumstances may provide similar benefits back to October 2020.

Click here to learn more about eligibility requirements.

What is Summer P-EBT? 

Summer P-EBT is an extension of school year 2020-21 benefits. Eligibility will be determined based on student or child circumstances as of the last full month of the 2020-21 school year (May 2021). Eligibility for the summer period is not determined based on school attendance or learning mode, so students attending summer learning programs will be eligible for the full summer P-EBT amount. Eligible children will receive a one-time payment of $375 that will cover the entire summer period of June through August 2021. More information on Summer P-EBT can be found in the P-EBT FAQs and additional updates will be available in the coming months.

How can I apply? 

Families do not need to apply for P-EBT. Benefits will be administered automatically.

How will I get my benefits? 

Eligible families already receiving Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) benefits will receive an additional benefit on their existing EBT card. Eligible families who do not have an FNS or P-EBT card will be mailed a card.

The P-EBT card functions like a standard EBT card, and the same guidelines apply. The P-EBT card can be used to purchase food items at EBT authorized food and grocery retailers, including most major grocery stores.

Other Frequently Asked Questions 

How much will I receive in P-EBT benefits?

The student’s learning mode (hybrid vs. remote learning) will determine the amount they will receive each month. Click here to learn more about how payment is calculated.

How do I activate my P-EBT card?
  1. Visit Click on “More Information” under EBT Cardholder. You will be prompted to login and/or register your account.
  2. Download the ebtEDGE mobile app. The app is available on Apple Store and Google Play.
  3. Call 1-888-622-7328 and follow the prompts to activate your card and select a PIN.

For more frequently asked questions, visit NCDHHS

Need more information?

If you didn’t find what you need on this page or need more information on local resources, dial 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162. Our call specialists are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Source: NCDHHS

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COVID-19, Food