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Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Information

School Year 2021-2022 Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) Program

The Texas state plan for the school year 2021-2022 Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program has been approved by the US Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). P-EBT provides food benefits to families with enrolled National School Lunch Program (NSLP)-eligible students who temporarily lose access to free or reduced-price school meals for the 2021–2022 school year due to COVID-19-related absences, virtual attendance, or school closures. 


For school year 2021-2022, P-EBT benefit amounts will be different for each NSLP-eligible student. Per federal regulations, amounts are based on the number of COVID-19-related absences a student has, the number of days the student participated in virtual learning offered because of COVID-19, or the number of days a school was closed because of COVID-19. (This is different from previous P-EBT programs that provided the same benefit amount to all eligible students at the same school.) P-EBT for this school year relies on schools tracking and reporting COVID-19-related student absences, virtual attendance, and school closures for the entire year. Local educational agencies (LEAs) with NSLP-eligible schools should use whatever data is available, dating back to the start of the school year. Alternatively, if COVID-19-related absences have not been tracked, you may include students if they have five or more consecutive excused absences. (Reporting for each semester would need to be entirely based on actual absences/virtual attendance/school closures OR five or more consecutive excused absences. A combination of both cannot be used within the same semester.)


Only students attending a school approved to operate NSLP may be eligible for P-EBT. NSLP- approved schools include those operating the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) and those NSLP schools electing the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) or Provision 2 (P2). 

To be eligible for P-EBT, students must be eligible for free or reduced-price meals through NSLP. NSLP meal eligibility is determined in the following ways:

  • Certified NSLP household application
  • Direct certification
  • Enrollment at a CEP or P2 school


There is no online P-EBT application for the 2021-2022 school year. Student eligibility for P-EBT is based on student status in the 2021-2022 school year. Families must have an approved NSLP Household application or be eligible through direct certification. In anticipation of P-EBT for this school year, it is recommended that you encourage all families that may be eligible to complete an NSLP household application by the week of March 21 to give the child nutrition team adequate time to process the application. 


Additional information and materials that can be shared with families about P-EBT will be available in the coming weeks.