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Pandemic EBT Benefits Offer Food Resource
Pandemic EBT

P-EBT is a federal food program offering extra food benefits during an extra hard time due to the pandemic. The California Department of Social Services (CDSS), in partnership with the California Department of Education (CDE), received approval to operate the program in response to COVID-19 related school and child care closures. P-EBT provides food benefits to help families with young children (under age 6) who got CalFresh Food benefits between October 2020 and August 2021 and school age children who were eligible for free or reduced-price school meals through the federal School Breakfast or National School Lunch Program for School Year 2020-21, and assumed to have attended school via distance learning at least some of that time.


P-EBT 2.0 Eligibility

Young children are eligible for P-EBT 2.0 if between Oct.1, 2020, and Aug. 31, 2021, they were:

Age 0-6 years old; and

Part of a household getting CalFresh food benefits; and

Living in a county where at least one school facility is closed or is limiting in-person instruction.


School aged children are eligible for P-EBT 2.0 if they were:

Enrolled at a school for school year 2020-21 that participated in the federal School Breakfast Program or National School Lunch Program; and

Eligible to get free or reduced-price meals for school year 2020-21; and

Assumed to have attended school via all distance learning or a hybrid of all distance learning and in-person learning at least some days of the week during school year 2020-21.


P-EBT 2.0 cards for eligible young children who got CalFresh between October 2020 and January 2021 were automatically mailed beginning early July 2021 through August 2021.

P-EBT 2.0 cards for eligible school age children will be automatically mailed through November 2021. P-EBT 2.0 cards for eligible young children who got CalFresh between February 2021 and May 2021 will be automatically mailed beginning in November 2021.

All remaining cards for both age groups will be mailed in December 2021.

Cards will be mailed by age group in alphabetical order based on the first name of the eligible child.

There is NO P-EBT 2.0 application.

Children eligible for free school meals based on their attendance at a school where all children can get free breakfast, lunch, or both, are also eligible for P-EBT. This is true even if the child did not individually apply for free or reduced-price school meals.

Families who feel they do not need P-EBT benefits can choose to not accept P-EBT benefits by destroying their card before using it.

Do not throw your card away as it will be reloaded with additional benefits. Each eligible child will receive their own P-EBT 2.0 card.


P-EBT 2.0 does not:

Require sign-up or an application;

Affect other benefits you may be receiving;

Impact immigration or make the recipient a public charge.


For more information, visit the P-EBT website at