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How 75,000 Utah families can get a one-time payment to help feed their children

(Sue Ogrocki | The Associated Press) Kitchen assistant Maria Cedillo makes sandwiches for lunch bags at Rockwood Elementry School as the city public school district holds its first day of providing free meals to students at 42 sites around the district during the coronavirus pandemic, in Oklahoma City on Monday, March 24, 2020.

Utahns whose children were eligible for free or reduced-price school meals can now apply for a one-time payment of $308 for each child in grades K-12.

The application for the Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfer is online at jobs.utah.gov/PEBT. It must be submitted by Aug. 31, and payments will be sent out in September.

Families whose children received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits on March 16 do not need to apply for P-EBT — the $308 benefit will automatically be added to their balance. However, children who were eligible on March 16 but were not receiving SNAP benefits must now apply.

According to the Utah Department of Workforce Services, $18 million in P-EBT benefits will go to Utah families this week, and another $50 million could go out in September if eligible families apply. It estimates that 75,000 households may have eligible children.

Utah is one of 17 states that initially declined to take the federal aid to help get food to needy children because, officials said, it would have been too complex a task to accomplish in a short amount of time.

For more information about the program and answers to frequently asked questions, visit jobs.utah.gov/covid19, or call 833-940-2990. According to Workforce Services, it is working with the Utah State Board of Education and community partners to make eligible families aware of the program.

“Having this additional one-time benefit available for eligible families will be a great support as we start the new school year,” said Sydnee Dickson, state superintendent of public instruction. “With everything going on, the last thing our school communities need is to worry about food security.”

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