Pandemic EBT assistance for multilingual families is available on our support hotlines.


Pandemic EBT

The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) will help families cover the cost of breakfasts and lunches their children would have been eligible to receive for free or at reduced price through the National School Lunch Program.

Originally created through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to help families feed their children during the spring of 2020 when schools initially closed, the P-EBT program was re-authorized last year to cover the entire 2020-21 school year.


✔ Check that your school has your current mailing address
✔ Check that your school has your child’s correct date of birth

Benefits will begin to be sent out in early May 2021. P-EBT cards being sent through the mail may experience delays.

PA will send out payments (via mail and/or loaded to EBT cards) over a ten-day period. Not everyone will receive their P-EBT payments on the same day.

For months where your child’s learning was fully virtual, you will receive $136.40.
For months where your child’s learning was a combination of in-school and virtual, you will receive $88.66. (This amount may change for the third payment in July.)

If you already have an active EBT card, the P-EBT funds will be automatically added to your card. You do not need to do anything for this to occur. 

If you do not have an active EBT card and your mailing address is correct with the School District you also do not need to do anything to receive your P-EBT card. If your mailing address with the School District is not correct, please provide your current mailing address to ensure proper delivery of your P-EBT card.

*A photo ID and a copy of two proof of residency documents are required to complete an address change. Don’t worry if you can’t submit the verification documents right now.

**The deadline for parents/guardians to submit an Address Update Request was Friday, April 16th, 2021. Other opportunities to update addresses will be announced soon **

Frequently Asked Questions

The U.S. Congress created the Pandemic – Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) Program in Spring 2020 to help families buy food while schools were closed due to COVID-19. More P-EBT funds are being issued to families for the 2020-2021 school year.

All families with school aged children (K-12) who qualify for free or reduced price school meals under the National School Lunch Program. This includes ALL students currently enrolled in the School District of Philadelphia and select charter schools.

All schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) have students eligible for P-EBT.

  • For the majority of charters that use Community Eligibility (CEP) to offer free meals to all students, all students will receive P-EBT.
  • For charters that do not use CEP, only children enrolled in free and reduced-price meals (either as a result of direct certification through SNAP, TANF, MA, etc. – or – through application) will get P-EBT.

To make payments simplified over the school year, the 180 school days are divided up evenly into the 9 months of September through May. Each payment will cover 3 months.

Keep the new P-EBT card you receive, future payments will post to that card.

  • The 1st payment will cover the months of September through November 2020. Those will start going out in May.
  • The 2nd payment will cover December 2020 through February 2021. The state will load it onto your P-EBT or SNAP EBT card in June.
  • The 3rd payment will cover March through May 2021. The state will load it onto your P-EBT or SNAP EBT card in July.
    Note: this third payment may have a different amount for hybrid months. The state will have to determine the average number of days that students missed meals due to new hybrid modes, since many schools may provide more in-person learning later this spring.

It’s important to have an up-to-date address on file with your school!

If you already receive SNAP (Food Stamps) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF cash assistance), you will get the P-EBT amount deposited onto your EBT card for each student who is certified for free or reduced-price school meals.

If you do not already have an EBT card, you will receive a card in the mail with instructions on how to use it.

The P-EBT card works like a debit card to purchase food items anywhere EBT benefits are accepted. Click here for a list of what you can buy with P-EBT. Click here to find a list of EBT retailers.

It’s important to have an up-to-date address on file with your school!

Call the Pennsylvania EBT Hotline: 1-888-EBT-PENN (1-888-328-7366)

Select your language

Enter your P-EBT card number and follow the prompts

Create a PIN:

  1. At the prompt for the last four digits of your social security number, enter the last 4 digits of your zip code.
  2. Then enter the child’s date of birth using the 2 digit month + 2 digit day + 4 digit year Example: April 6, 2005 = 04062005
  3. Select your new four-digit PIN, then re-enter your new PIN to confirm
  4. You will hear a message that the PIN was created successfully, and then the hotline will hang up automatically.

During the COVID19 pandemic, please visit the City of Philadelphia’s Food Distribution Map at

Additional Resources:
Find a nearby food pantry or food bank
Contact your county assistance office for help finding food resources.

To access all of the P-EBT Frequently Asked Questions, please click on the button below.

Contact Support

Telephone: 215-400-5300


215-400-8480 – SHQIP
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