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Pandemic EBT program to provide food assistance

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North Carolina has received approval from the Department of Agriculture to initiate a new Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program.

This program will assist families who have been impacted by school closings, due to COVID-19, in purchasing food for their children.

Those who are eligible include:

• School age children who currently receive free or reduced lunch.

• Children receiving Food and Nutrition Services benefits.

• Non-FNS households.

P-EBT benefits will be issued from the Department of Public Instruction during the week April 27 for Food and Nutrition Services households and the week of May 4 for non-FNS households.

This new program is in addition to other services that families may already be participating in.

There is no application process to receive P-EBT benefits. For those already receiving FNS services, benefits will be automatically placed on the family’s EBT card.

Non-FNS households will receive an explanatory letter in the mail from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services and will be issued a new P-EBT card, which will be a plain white card with either the parents’ names or the child’s name.

The back of the card will display EBT information. These cards will be useable for 365 days.

Families will be able to use the P-EBT card to purchase food items at EBT-authorized retailers, including most major grocery stores, and are encouraged to continue utilizing feeding programs and local school and community sites.

To find local meal sites, participants can text FOODNC to 877877. The service is also available in Spanish by texting COMIDA to 877877.

For more information, program participants may call the EBT call center at 1-888-622-7328, download the ebtEDGE mobile app at, or go to DHHS website at