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NC distributing money to qualified families for purchase of healthy meals

The funds have helped feed the state's 1.48 million children since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020.

RALEIGH, N.C. — Summertime benefits to help families feed their children while school is not in regular session are being distributed by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

Between July 20 and 30, the families of approximately 948,000 children will receive a one-time payment of $391 to help with the "purchase of healthy meals during summer break, NC DHHS said in a released statement.

These Pandemic-EBT benefits have been used to help feed the state's 1.48 million children since the coronavirus pandemic began in 2020, according to NC DHHS. A total of $2.16 billion in total P-EBT benefits funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture have been sent to North Carolina families.

"Kids need enough healthy food every day to grow, develop, and stay healthy, and that doesn’t change just because school is out for the summer," NC DHHS Secretary Kody Kinsley said in a released statement. "Supporting children is a top priority and we are going to keep using every tool we have to support them and their families."  

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Children who received free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program in May 2022 are automatically eligible for Summer P-EBT, according to the state. 

Eligible children not yet signed up can still receive summer P-EBT benefits if their families apply for free or reduced-price school meals by August 31. Those families can sign-up for meals through either the National School Lunch Program or Food and Nutrition Services program. These families who are newly sign-up for benefits will receive their summertime benefits by early October.

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To apply for free or reduced-price meals, parents should contact their student’s school or school district. To apply for FNS, go to www.ncdhhs.gov/FNS. For more information about P-EBT and how to become eligible, visit www.ncdhhs.gov/PEBT. Families can check their eligibility for Summer P-EBT using the new P-EBT eligibility quiz on the P-EBT website HERE (or HERE in Spanish).

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