Clock ticking for TN families to apply for Pandemic EBT program

WATCH: Application deadline for the pandemic EBT program is Friday afternoon

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — For many kids, school is one of few places where they can get a consistent meal so when schools closed for three months, it left thousands without food.

The Tennessee Department of Human Services is trying to help those families now through the Pandemic EBT program.

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“It’s designed to replace any of those lost meals that occurred during the months of March, April and May due those school closures,” said Human Services Commissioner Danielle Barnes.

Barnes said families who receive free and reduced lunch are eligible for the program.

She said the program includes payments of $5.70 for each child for each meal they would have received if schools were opened.

“These benefits can be used at any grocery store that accepts EBT payments as well as Amazon and Walmart online,” she said.

Commissioner Barnes said the deadline to apply is this Friday afternoon. She said the state is facing a deadline of its own because they must use the money by this fall.

“The federal government, the way this program was constructed required that all dollars be spent by September 30th and that does require the appeals period as well and that’s why we pushed this out as long as we can,” she said.

With schools reopening again, Commissioner Barnes if hopefully more families will apply for this program.

Families who receive P-EBT can use the benefits for a year.

You can apply for the program, here.