April 20, 2020
I want you to be on the lookout for a new benefit that our students will be receiving. Michigan has become the first state in the country to gain federal approval of a program that will provide food to children who were affected by school closings due to COVID-19. The Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer Program (P-EBT) provides temporary funding to address emergency food needs and avert financial hardship for families affected by the pandemic.
The food assistance benefits will go to Michigan families with students ages 5-18 who are enrolled in the Michigan Department of Education program for students eligible for free or reduced-price school meals. It is our understanding that If a student attends a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school they will automatically receive the P-EBT benefit regardless of their free and reduced-price eligibility.
Mesick Consolidated Schools is a CEP school (all students receive free meals) all of the students will receive this benefit. The amount of EBT benefits will be no less than the total amount of free or reduced-cost school lunch benefits that the family would have received during the time that school is closed. The benefits will include $193.80 per eligible student to cover the months of March and April and an additional $182.40 per student to cover May and June combined. We have been assured that using the benefit won't take away from others in need.
Benefits for all eligible school-aged children in the home will be loaded onto this one EBT card. Prior to receiving the card, families will get a letter from MDHHS describing how to use their EBT card, how to set up their PIN, and other pertinent information about food assistance benefits. EBT cards can be used much like a debit card for food items only purchased in-person at SNAP retailers
Families who are not already receiving food assistance benefits should start receiving MDHHS notices in the mail late next week, with the EBT cards arriving by the first week of May. Families currently receiving food assistance benefits will receive additional benefits on their EBT Bridge Cards. Eligible families currently receiving food assistance benefits will be issued a supplement to their existing benefits.
Supplemental benefits can be used as families would typically use their EBT cards. Families who already receive food assistance benefits should begin receiving their additional benefits next week – with the payments being staggered over a 10-day period.