Pandemic EBT/P-EBT

Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) is coming soon for eligible families!

 Extra Food Benefits During an Extra Hard Time - Posted by the San Diego County Office of Education

P-EBT Questions? We can help. social media imageGood news, Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) is coming for eligible families! These no-risk, additional benefits will be arriving in the mail soon. Here's what you need to know:

What is P-EBT?

The pandemic and distance learning has made it harder to feed the whole family. Pandemic EBT is a federal program that gives eligible families with children additional money on top of CalFresh Food benefits and school meals.

Who is P-EBT for?

Young kids ages 0-6 who got CalFresh Food benefits between October 2020 and May 2021, and students in TK-12th grade who were enrolled in free or reduced price school meals at a school participating in the National School Lunch or Breakfast Programs for the 2020-21 school year and are assumed to have attended school via distance learning, at least some of that time during the school year. Kids eligible for free school meals based on their attendance at a school where all children can get free breakfast, lunch, or both, may also get P-EBT benefits. This is true even if the child did not individually apply for free or reduced price school meals.

Will P-EBT affect other benefits?

P-EBT does not count as taxable income. Your family will still be eligible for free or reduced price school meals or CalFresh benefits.

Can P-EBT affect immigration?

No. P-EBT is safe for you and your family members. The program will NOT report anyone to immigration services for buying food with this card nor will anyone using this card be considered a public charge.

How do I sign up or apply for P-EBT?

You don't need to sign up or apply. If your young child got CalFresh Food benefits or your school aged child was enrolled in free or reduced price school meals, either individually or based on their attendance at a school where all kids were eligible for free meals, a card will automatically be mailed for each eligible kid. Cards will start arriving in early July and through August for kids 0-6 who got CalFresh and early September through November for kids TK-12.

How do I use P-EBT?

Every eligible child will get their own P-EBT card, which is automatically refilled at scheduled intervals. The same places that take CalFresh will take P-EBT. This includes: most grocery stores, farmers markets, and online at Amazon, Walmart, and other retailers. Just like with CalFresh Food Benefits, foods that are served hot or already prepared (like takeout or food bars) are NOT covered.

Questions? Call the P-EBT Helpline Monday-Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at 877-328-9677 (select 5 to speak to an agent) or visit

P-EBT Flyer (English)  //  P-EBT Fact Sheet (English)

P-EBT Flyer (Spanish)  //  P-EBT Fact Sheet

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