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Can my child still get their free school meals with all of New Jersey’s schools closed?

Last Updated: 08/10/2020

School Meals

To ensure no child goes hungry during this public health emergency, the New Jersey Department of Education is working with school officials to continue distributing free meals for eligible students.

Check with your local school district to learn how they are distributing free meals for students in your community.

Special Pandemic-EBT Benefits Card Issued

In addition, special Pandemic-EBT benefits are being provided to recipients of the state's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and non-SNAP households with children who normally receive free or reduced-price school meals.

Families will receive a one-time benefit of $416.10 for each eligible student for nutritional support during the time schools were closed during the pandemic. No application was necessary to receive this benefit.

The majority of Pandemic-EBT eligible families participating in SNAP received the benefit on their household's existing Families First card on July 8.

All other Pandemic-EBT eligible households were mailed a P-EBT card beginning the week of July 6th and should have received their card in the mail the week of July 13th. P-EBT cards continue to be processed and mailed daily. Eligible families who have yet to receive their cards may expect to receive one in the coming weeks.

For more information, refer to the NJ Department of Human Services' guide to accessing P-EBT benefits.

Additional Resources

Families in need of food, cash, or other assistance, can learn about what programs are available and how to apply at New Jersey's official COVID-19 website.

To find a food bank in your community, refer to this directory.

Source: https://www.state.nj.us/education/topics/COVID19%20Frequently%20Asked%20Questions%20(FAQ)%20Related%20to%20School%20Emergency%20Preparedness%20Plans.pdf; https://www.nj.gov/governor/news/news/562020/approved/20200511d.shtml; https://nj.gov/humanservices/news/pressreleases/2020/approved/20203006m.html