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.

Students 21 And Older!

Students who turned 21 years old prior to July 1st, 2020 are not eligible to receive P-EBT benefits.

What if I Have Not Received my P-EBT or have an issue with my P-EBT?

The first issuance of P-EBT benefits for the 2020-21 school year was completed at the end of July 2021, except for students that were newly eligible based on the second data submission for the 2020-21 school year – cards will be mailed to newly eligible students at the end of August/early September.

If you have questions about this program or need to report a problem, please submit a Pennsylvania P-EBT inquiry form via the DHS website. 

NOTE: Inquiries are responded to in the order in which they are received. Parents or guardians should not submit duplicate inquiries as it will delay the resolution process.

Please call 215-400-4000 or email to confirm your mailing address or for concerns regarding P-EBT card activation.


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

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, except virtual 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
215-400-8481 – عربي
215-400-8482 – 汉语
215-400-8483 – Français
215-400-8484 – ខ្មែរ
215-400-8474 – Português
215-400-8485 – Русский
215-400-8489 – Español
215-400-8486 – Việt