CHARLOTTE AMALIE — The Department of Human Services (DHS) announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) approved the VI Plan to issue Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) to children of current Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households and non-SNAP households.
This third round of P-EBT financial nutrition assistance will cover meals that were missed from October 2020 through May 2021 because of the closure of private and public schools, which participate in the National School Lunch Program. Eligible children must have received 100% virtual or hybrid (a mix of in-person and virtual) school instruction as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Note: Children will not be eligible to receive P-EBT for any of the days enrolled in In-person school instruction. Children who are usually Home Schooled are also not eligible for P-EBT.
“The VI Department of Human Services is collaborating more than ever before to build a stronger Virgin Islands that better supports and brings hope to our territory’s children, youth and families,” said Human Services Commissioner Kimberley Causey-Gomez.
“Our partnership with the VI Department of Education and the territory’s private schools has remained critical to ensuring all Virgin Islands children eligible for P-EBT benefits receive them and that our children receive the nutrition they need to grow and learn. These benefits already positively impacted over 13,000 children in the first and second rounds of issuance and are slated to provide over 17,000 children across the Territory with assistance in this third issuance. We appreciate this partnership to reach children and families who are economically impacted most because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Commissioner Causey-Gomez. “Children must have their basic needs met, including food, to be ready to learn, and many Virgin Islands families rely on free or reduced-priced school meals when schools are open. We’re appreciative that the VIDHS is a strong partner in making sure our children have every opportunity for high-quality nutrition during this unprecedented time. Thank you to all the hardworking staff that made this possible,” ended Commissioner Causey-Gomez.
Supplemental and New P-EBT Benefits
As a result of President Biden’s January 2021 executive order, a retroactive Supplemental payment, also known as a Snack Benefit, will be issued to clients who received P-EBT benefits for the months of August and/or September. In this third issuance of P-EBT, the federal government has also awarded funding for the states and territories to issue P-EBT to children in SNAP Households who were under age 6 on October 1, 2020. This benefit is known as Child Care P-EBT, but unfortunately, it is ONLY applicable to eligible households who receive SNAP and the children are under 6 and are not receiving School Age P-EBT.