Back to School Updates for Parents and Students
Welcome back to school! As District of Columbia students head back to school, there is important information regarding school meals, Pandemic EBT, Afterschool, and other programming all should be aware of for the school year.
Childcare Pandemic EBT
The District of Columbia Department of Human Services and the District of Columbia’s Office of the State Superintendent of Education will issue P-EBT benefits through the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) EBT card system to households with eligible children.
Children who were under 6 as of September 30, 2022 and were part of a household participating in SNAP are eligible to receive P-EBT benefits between August 22 through May 11, 2023. The total amount of P-EBT benefits for SY2022-2023 anticipated by the District is $50.36 per month during the school year when the PHE was in effect. Children who are eligible for all months of benefits will receive a total payment of $478.42.
- Students who turn 6 before September 30, 2022, will be designated as “school-age” children and ineligible for P-EBT for Childcare age Children.
- For children that are in childcare and currently receive SNAP, the District will issue the P-EBT benefits on the household’s existing SNAP EBT card.
- Unused P-EBT benefits will be expunged after 274 days of non-usage.
2023 Summer P-EBT for School Age and Childcare Age
A single issuance for all summer payments will be distributed through September 30, 2023. Total Summer P-EBT benefits for 2022 anticipated by the District is $120.00 per child.
The District will not be issuing Summer P-EBT for children in child care due to the May 11, 2023 end of the public health emergency, causing this population to no longer be eligible to receive benefits through the Summer P-EBT program.
School age children eligible for Summer P-EBT benefits include families with completed FARM applications before June 30, 2023, with approved or updated in SIS before July 15, 2023. Additionally, DC school age children over the age of 6 are eligible for Summer 2023 P-EBT benefits under the following circumstances:
- a child over the age of six should be, for SY2023-2024, enrolled in a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) School, Special Provisions 2 or 3, OR enrolled in a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program
- AND applied for Free and Reduced Price Meals (FARM) before June 30, 2023 (and become approved) OR
- are categorically approved for FARM by their school (which includes students who are receiving SNAP and TANF)
Parents are encouraged to submit questions or concerns using DHS Pandemic (PEBT) Online Form: https://forms.dc.gov/f/PEBTCardIssuesform.
For replacement P-EBT cards, parents may call FIS, the District’s EBT vendor, at (888) 304-9167. Please note that FIS cannot update the address they have on the record, so if your address has changed, you will need to submit a P-EBT Issue Form to update your address and request a replacement to be sent by DHS.
The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) provides low or no-cost lunches to children and operates in nearly 100,000 public and nonprofit private schools (grades Pre-Kindergarten-12) and residential childcare institutions. During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, USDA Food and Nutrition Services adopted several waivers and flexibilities allowing school meals (lunch and breakfast) to be served at no-cost.
This 2023-2024 school year, school meals will no longer be served to students at no-cost. However, schools who have adopted the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) will still serve meals to students at no-cost. Please review this list to see if your District of Columbia Public School student is or will be attending a CEP Participating School.
There are many students attending DC Public Schools and DC Public Charter Schools* who qualify for free and reduced lunch. For DC Public School Students, to determine eligibility for free and reduced lunch, a student must meet one of the following requirements:
- attend a CEP participating school OR
- qualify via direct certification (students receiving SNAP or TANF benefits, children in foster care, or children who identify as unhoused, migrant, or runaway) OR
- have completed a Free and Reduced Meal Application (FARM).
Students attending a CEP school do not need to complete a FARM application. However, if you have a student who does not meet the above criteria but attends a CEP school, the FARM application will need to be completed to determine eligibility.
As a reminder, all students attending D.C. Schools will receive school breakfast at no cost regardless of eligibility based on the D.C. Healthy Schools Act.
*DC Public Charter Schools participating in the National School Lunch Program
At-risk After School Programs and Out of School Time Programming provides academic enrichment and structured activities plus supper/snack to students once the school day ends.
For school year 2023-2024, there will be (55) schools participating in Out of School Time Programming. Enrollment for DC Public Schools Afterschool Program is currently open for students who have already completed their 2023-2024 school year registration.
Registration is also open for DC Parks and Recreation Out of School Time Programming.
For more information, please contact D.C. Hunger Solutions at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 640-1088.