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Summer food aid coming for over 400,000 Minnesota children

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As the cost of groceries climbs, the families of 410,000 Minnesota children will receive support to help them provide healthy foods this summer.

This month, federal funds totaling up to $180.5 million will begin going to the families of 320,000 schoolchildren and 90,000 children age 5 and under. Most eligible families do not need to apply for the Summer Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer, or Summer P-EBT, and will receive the benefits automatically. The Minnesota Department of Human Services will begin issuing the benefits on P-EBT cards in late July for school-age children, and on EBT cards in early August for children 5 and younger.

“With food prices skyrocketing, families need this support so they can provide nutritious meals for their children over the summer,” said Human Services Commissioner Jodi Harpstead. “The economic impact will also be substantial as people spend their Summer P-EBT benefits at grocery stores and farmers markets.”

Beginning in late July, DHS will load $435 onto P-EBT cards for each schoolchild who was approved for free or reduced-price meals and enrolled in the last month of the recently completed 2021-22 school year. In early August, DHS will issue $218 on family EBT cards for each child 5 or younger, if they are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Minnesota Family Investment Program or Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and in child care. In October, the department will issue $217 in Summer P-EBT benefits per eligible child 5 and younger and not enrolled in school at the start of school year 2021-2022, directly to their families’ EBT cards. 

“Minnesota’s P-EBT plan provides food benefits to families throughout the summer months, which helps families continue eating healthy meals,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Heather Mueller. “This is especially important in the summer, to help ensure children do not fall behind in their learning and development.”

For children 5 and under, the August Summer P-EBT payment will be combined with an earlier P-EBT payment of $31.20 per month from January to May, for the months that children were eligible. The benefits will go directly to their families’ EBT cards. 

Families who are eligible for Summer P-EBT will receive an email or text, as long as they have not opted out of receiving notifications. Parents who want to receive texts notifying them when benefits are available can sign up by using the P-EBT Help Form.

Families who were not previously approved can also apply for Summer P-EBT: 

  • For school-age children, families have until Sept. 2 to apply through their schools on the Application for Educational Benefits for free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program. If approved, they will receive Summer P-EBT benefits beginning in late October. 
  • For children 5 and younger, families have until Aug. 31 to apply for Summer P-EBT by enrolling in SNAP, MFIP or Tribal TANF. To enroll, they can visit, or contact their local county or tribal human services agency. The Summer P-EBT payment for families who are approved will go out in October.

Effective Sept. 1, 2022, all food benefits will be removed from EBT and P-EBT cards after nine months of not being used. Once removed, these benefits cannot be replaced. Families using EBT cards can check their balances by contacting EBT Edge Customer Service at 888-997-2227 or They can also check the balance from their mobile device by downloading the free ebtEDGE mobile app available at www.FISGLOBAL.COM/EBTEDGEMOBILE. If they have questions about EBT benefits changes or need additional information, they can contact their case workers. If they have questions about P-EBT benefits, they can contact the P-EBT Call Center at 651-431-4608 or 833-454-0153.

For questions about Summer P-EBT: 

  • Contact the P-EBT Call Center, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 651-431-4608 or 833-454-0153.
  • Complete the P-EBT Help Form or call the P-EBT Call Center at 651-431-4608 or 833-454-0153 for assistance in multiple languages.
  • Note that call center staff do not have access to school-specific information so cannot answer individual eligibility questions until after benefits are issued, and most schools do not have the capacity to field calls about Summer P-EBT at this time. 
  • Contact EBT Edge at 888-997-2227 or for a replacement card for lost or misplaced EBT or P-EBT cards. The fee to replace a card is $2.

Summer P-EBT is one of four essential programs that support healthy nutrition during the COVID-19 pandemic. The others are: 

  • P-EBT for school-age children: Minnesota’s plan provides $7.10 per day in food benefits for each school day missed because of a COVID-related impact. The full daily benefit is equal to the free reimbursement for breakfast, lunch and snack for the 2021-22 school year.
  • P-EBT for 5 and Younger: Minnesota’s plan provides about $30 per month in temporary benefits to families with children who were age 5 or younger on Sept. 1, 2021, and who received SNAP, MFIP or Tribal TANF benefits. The benefit is primarily for families with children in child care facilities who did not receive meals when the facilities were closed or had reduced hours due to the pandemic.
  • E-SNAP: This additional food benefit goes to eligible SNAP, MFIP and Tribal TANF recipients to address food needs during the pandemic. Federal law requires E-SNAP to end when the federal public health emergency declaration ends, with a one-month transition. Regular SNAP benefits will co

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