LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - With so many families facing financial hardship during this global pandemic, WAVE 3 News is dedicated to helping you find any way you can to make ends meet. With families home more than ever before, that means more meals and more money.
“During COVID, we’ve seen alarming increases in food insecurity not just in Kentucky but across the U.S.,” Luis Guardia, president of the Anti-Hunger Organization Food Research & Action Center, stressed to WAVE 3 News.
As millions across the country lost their jobs and schools closed their doors due to the coronavirus, many households with children faced the terrifying fact that they did not have the means to provide the food their children need in order to have a healthy life without free breakfast and lunch from school.
“The food bank systems simply can’t do it and other charities simply can’t do it alone,” Guardia proclaimed. “To deal with the problem we’re dealing with now as a country and within our own community we need solutions that can work at scale.”
In Kentucky, families can still get a helping hand feeding their children until the end of August in the form of Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer Assistance or P-EBT. These children now can receive help from a program jointly offered by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and Kentucky Department of Education. Program enrollment is automatic for children already receiving SNAP (formerly known as food stamps), TANF, Kinship Care, and Medicaid. Each state has its own guidelines and rules.
“That allows families to purchase food for their children that they’ve missed since the closure of schools because of COVID,” Guardia shared.
The value of the lost school meals is loaded on the P-EBT card which can be used just like a debit card at flood retailers.
“People that have the P-EBT card can make online purchases at Amazon.com or Walmart.com,” Guardia shared. “The deadline is Aug. 31. It’s $313.50 to be precise per child. Right now, there are timely very important deliberations going on in Congress that have the potential for extending the program or have the potential for ending it.”
For students who will rely on NTI this coming school year or other educational programs that are different than the norm, they may also need P-EBT, but the program is not guaranteed for the 2020-21 school year. The Food Research & Action Center urges parents and educators to contact their legislators to push for continued coverage for the upcoming year.
“If folks believe this is an important program to have it’s really important for them to reach out to their federal senators Senator McConnel and Sen. Rand in Kentucky,” Guardia stressed.
To reach out to Senator Mitch McConnell and Senator Rand Paul to continue P-EBT click on the links below.
To register for P-EBT click on the link below: