Oregon Department of Human Services
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News Release
Correction: Oregon approved to issue more than $550 million in food assistance to 572,000 children - 05/11/21

NOTE: A previous version of this media release had a typo in the number to text 211. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

To contact 211 via text: Text your zip code to 898211 (TXT211)

(Salem) – The State of Oregon received approval from the federal government to issue Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) for the 2020 - 2021 school year. This will provide more than $550 million in food assistance for approximately 572,000 children in Oregon.

P-EBT provides food benefits to families whose children do not have access to the free or reduced-price meals usually provided at school. Oregon was approved to provide retroactive food benefits to eligible students for the 2020 - 2021 school year. The P-EBT benefits are expected to be issued beginning in July.

“P-EBT benefits will significantly support the food security, health and well-being of children and families across Oregon,” said Dan Haun, director of the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), Self-Sufficiency Programs. “Still, many Oregonians are struggling meeting their basic needs. We encourage them to contact our partners at 211 and the Oregon Food Bank.”

“All children deserve access to adequate nutrition to fuel their learning. The Oregon Department of Education is happy to be partnering with ODHS and local school districts to meet the nutrition needs of Oregon's children and families who were most impacted by the pandemic.” said Cindy Hunt, Chief of Staff at Oregon Department of Education (ODE).

ODHS and ODE share responsibility in ensuring that children across Oregon receive P-EBT food benefits. ODE collaborates with school districts across Oregon to determine eligibility and ODHS issues the benefits on Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards.

Households do not need to apply for P-EBT. Benefits will be automatically issued for students who normally have access to free and reduced-price meals and are enrolled at a school in Oregon.

If your children are not currently enrolled in free or reduced meals you can apply through your school or online at the Oregon Department of Education website. Qualifying for free or reduced meals for the 2020 – 2021 school year before June 30, 2021 will ensure you receive P-EBT when the benefits are issued. P-EBT benefit eligibility and amounts will vary. Visit pebt.oregon.gov for more information.

Each student will receive their own P-EBT card. Students and households new to P-EBT and households with more than one student will receive an Oregon P-EBT card in the mail with instructions. Cards will be mailed to the address on file with the school for those students who do not receive SNAP.

Students who are already receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will receive the P-EBT benefits on the EBT card associated with their household’s SNAP case.

P-EBT does not replace any child nutrition program already offered, and families are encouraged to continue participating in grab-n-go-meals or emergency food programs at their local schools and community locations.

P-EBT is separate from SNAP benefits including emergency allotments that are also being issued due to the impact of COVID-19. P-EBT benefits are not considered in a public charge test.

Resources to help meet basic needs

  • Find a food pantry: foodfinder.oregonfoodbank.org
  • Learn about government programs and community resources for older adults and people with disabilities: Aging and Disability Resource Connection of Oregon at 1-855-673-2372 or www.adrcoforegon.org.
  • Dial 2-1-1, or text your zip code to 898211 (TXT211), www.211info.org
  • Oregon Department of Human Services Resources 

About SNAP

Administered by ODHS, SNAP is a federal program that provides food assistance to approximately 1 million eligible, low-income families and individuals in Oregon, including many older adults and people with disabilities. Oregonians in need can apply for benefits, including SNAP, child care, cash assistance and Medicaid. Learn more at https://govstatus.egov.com/or-dhs-benefits. For local resources in your area, such as food or shelter, please call 2-1-1 or reach out to the state’s Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) at 1-855-ORE-ADRC or 1-855-673-2372.

About the Oregon Department of Education

The Oregon Department of Education fosters equity and excellence for every learner through collaboration with educators, partners, and communities. ODE oversees the education of over 560,000 students in Oregon’s public K-12 education system. While ODE isn’t in the classroom directly providing services, the agency (along with the State Board) - focuses on helping districts achieve both local and statewide goals and priorities through strategies such as:

  • Developing policies and standards
  • Providing accurate and timely data to inform instruction
  • Training teachers on how to use data effectively
  • Effectively administering numerous state and federal grants
  • Sharing and helping districts implement best practices

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