Department of Human Services provides additional food benefits to Tennessee families
The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) wants Tennesseans to know additional benefits will be available for families who need help purchasing food this summer. The state’s fourth round of benefits made available as part of the Summer Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program will provide hundreds of dollars in benefits to qualifying families so they can immediately begin purchasing food.
“Research shows well-nourished children are healthier, more attentive, and have better mental performance,” said TDHS Commissioner Clarence H. Carter. “The launch of this additional round of support will enhance the well-being of Tennesseans by providing benefits to families who didn’t qualify for earlier rounds of P-EBT, as well as by providing additional benefits to those families who still need our help. We are grateful we can provide this additional assistance to our fellow Tennesseans.”
Summer P-EBT is an extension of Tennessee’s successful P-EBT program, which provided food benefits to approximately 800 thousand children who received free and reduced meals at school. There are two categories of children who are eligible for Summer P-EBT benefits:
- School-aged children who qualified for the National School Lunch Program as of the last day of July. Beginning August 6, 2021, eligible school-aged children will receive a single disbursement of $375 in food benefits on their existing P-EBT card. Children who qualified for Summer P-EBT in June or July will receive their deposit by the end of September.
- Children under the age of 6 whose family received benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in June and/or July. Eligible children under 6 who qualify through their family’s SNAP participation will receive a disbursement of $375 on their regular SNAP EBT card later this month.
Qualifying children who don’t already have a P-EBT card will be issued one. Parents can check to see if they’re eligible for Summer P-EBT and verify their mailing address on the Parent Portal on this website. Parents with incorrect addresses on the portal and those who need additional assistance are encouraged to call the P-EBT Hotline at 833-496-0661.
P-EBT cards are used like a debit card to purchase food at participating local establishments, online with Amazon, Walmart, Aldi, Food Lion, Publix, H.G. Hills, or at Superloo in Memphis. No Public Information application will be required to receive Summer P-EBT.
P-EBT benefits were provided to more than 765,000 children during the first round of P-EBT for the spring 2020 school semester and 368,000 children were mailed cards for the second round that ended in September. The third round of P-EBT covered the remainder of the 2020/2021 school year, with benefit cards being sent to more than 576,000 students.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 (PL 116–127, the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021 (PL 116-260), and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (PL 117-2) provides the Secretary of Agriculture authority to approve state agency plans to administer P-EBT. Approved state agencies may operate P-EBT when a school is closed for at least five consecutive days during a public health emergency designation when the school would otherwise be in session.
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Learn more about the Tennessee Department of Human Services at www.tn.gov/humanservices.