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.
Pandemic EBT Update 2020-2021
USDA FNS recently approved an amendment to District of Columbia Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) plans for School Year 2019-2020 and 2020-2021. Due to the nature of the P-EBT program, some cards were mailed to incorrect addresses and those households did not receive P-EBT benefits they were entitled to. The district continues to issue benefits to households that were not paid previously or households that were paid but could not access benefits before they were expunged. To ensure all students receive benefits to which they are eligible, the District has been approved by FNS to amend the plan as follows:
- The district will reissue P-EBT benefits that were expunged in cases where the household requests it or where the district becomes aware the benefits were expunged during normal case review.
- Non-SNAP households that receive a P-EBT card and choose to “opt out” will have their benefits systematically expunged after 274 or 365 days of account inactivity, depending on issuance date to ensure funds are released.
- The District will reissue P-EBT benefits that were expunged in cases where the household requests it or where the district becomes aware the benefits were expunged during normal case review.
- The District intends to cease corrective payments for SY 2019-2020 and SY 2020-2021, on June 1, 2022. The District of Columbia will no longer reissue EBT cards in-person, or through its web form after August 26, 2022. However, households will still be able to get replacement cards through the EBT vendor.
Parents are encouraged to submit questions or concerns using the DHS P-EBT Online Form: https://forms.dc.gov/f/PEBTCardIssuesform.
Pandemic EBT 2021-2022
Childcare P-EBT FY2021-2022
Children who were under 6 as of September 30, 2021 and were part of a household participating in SNAP will receive P-EBT benefits between August 30, 2021, and August 20, 2022. Total amount of P-EBT benefits for SY2022 anticipated by the District is $602.02 per child.
- Students who turn 6 before September 30, 2021, 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.
Summer P-EBT for School Age and Childcare Age FY2021-2022
A single issuance for all summer payments will go out August – September 2022. Total Summer P-EBT benefits for 2022 anticipated by the District is $391.00 per child.
School age children eligible for Summer P-EBT benefits include families with completed FARM applications before August 29, 2022, with approved or updated in SIS before September 15, 2022. Additionally, DC school age children over the age of 6 are eligible for Summer 2022 P-EBT benefits under the following circumstances:
- a child over the age of six should be, for SY2021- 2022, enrolled in a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) School OR enrolled in a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program
- AND applied for Free and Reduced Price Meals (FARM) before August 29, 2022 (and become approved) OR
- are categorically approved for FARM by their school (which includes students who are receiving SNAP and TANF)
For childcare age under 6: The District will identify all SNAP-enrolled children who received P-EBT childcare benefits in the last month of the school year and have received SNAP benefits in at least 1 summer month (June, July, August).
If a child over the age of 6 was not eligible in June, but their family experiences a change in income, their families can apply for Free and Reduced-price Meals (FARM) for Summer 2022 before August 29, 2022. If their child’s school approves the application, they will receive summer P-EBT before October 2022.
Parents are encouraged to submit questions or concerns using DHS Pandemic (PEBT) Online Form: https://forms.dc.gov/f/PEBTCardIssuesform.
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 2022-2023 school year, the waivers and flexibilities have not been extended, which means 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 DC 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 2022-2023, 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 2022-2023 school year registration.
Registration is also open for DC Parks and Recreation Out of School Time Programming.
For more information, please contact LaMonika Jones, Anti-Hunger Program and Policy Analyst, Child Nutrition Programs (202) 986-2200 ext. 3003 or firstname.lastname@example.org.