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DHS Announces Release Of Summer Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — The Virgin Islands Department of Human Services (DHS) today announced that Summer Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (Summer P-EBT) will be issued to eligible school children on the following dates:
P-EBT Summer 2021 for School Children Release Dates By District
• October 16,2021 St. Thomas/St. John District
• October 17,2021 St. Croix District

DHS Commissioner, Kimberley Causey-Gomez stated, “At the Department of Human Services, it is our
life’s work to serve our most vulnerable populations, especially our children,” DHS Commissioner, Kimberley Causey-Gomez said. “We take seriously our responsibility to tackle the COVID-19 crisis and ensuring there is no food insecurity. Thousands of Virgin Islanders are counting on us for direct services, which includes frontline work. While there’s no denyingthe c omplexity of managing through this crisis, I continue to be proud of our Division of Family Assistance team for their outstanding hard work and dedication to the people of our community.”

Who is eligible for Round 4 of Summer P-EBT, and how will it be issued?

School-Age Children

a. All students (Kthrough Grade 12) that were enrolled in USVI public and private
schools for the school year 2020- 2021 and participated in the National School Lunch
Program.
b. Students who attended school in the following learning mode: virtual, hybrid and in
person.
c. Students who attended school in May 2021 of School Year 2020-2021.d. For eligible children who currently receive SNAP, benefits will be loaded on the household’s existing EBT card.
e. For eligible children who do not receive SNAP but were issued a card for P-EBT 1,2, and 3 the fourth round will be automatically loaded to those cards.

For new, eligible non-SNAP children:

  1. Cards will be mailed to the addresses provided by parents and guardians.
    a. The card will be issued in the student’s name. Households with more than one eligible student will receive multiple cards.
    b. Instructions will be provided on how to set-up and utilize the card to access their benefits.
  2. There is no application process. The Virgin Islands Department of Education and eligible private schools provided DHS the names of students enrolled for the 2020-2021 school year.
  3. PEBT benefits can be used to purchase food items at the stores of authorized SNAP retailers.
  4. PEBT benefits are not transferrable! You must destroy the card if you do not want the benefits.
  5. This Summer P-EBT Issuance is ONLY for School-Age Children. Eligible Children who were under age 6 who are identified in the “Child Care” category will receive their Summer P-EBT Issuance by or before October 31, 2021.
    How much will you receive?
    A standard one-time benefit of $438.00 per child will be issued.
    What is P-EBT?
    P-EBT, an abbreviation for Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer, is an additional benefit that basically
    provides food assistance via an Electronic Benefit Card that can be used in participating grocery stores
    and convenience stores for food items. Unlike SNAP, which is renewable based on eligibility, P-EBT is
    a one-time benefit issuance.
    P-EBT was funded by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act which is now amended for to
    the American Rescue Act. Benefits are available for all Virgin Islands SNAP and non-SNAP households
    with children who were enrolled in locally registered public and private schools, grades (K – 12) who
    have temporarily lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to pandemic-related public and
    private school closures and for children under 6 who receive SNAP benefits

For more information about P-EBT, visit the DHS website at www.dhs.gov.vi or families may call the
P-EBT Customer Service Number (340)772-7120 or email pebt@dhs.vi.gov with the subject P-EBT.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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