Indiana Pandemic EBT advantages have been expanded and a further $ 42 million distributed

Additional support will be given to families of Indiana students who are eligible for free and discounted meals but no longer have access due to virtual learning, the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration said on Wednesday.

In round two of the Pandemic EBT program, first approved in March under the Family First Coronavirus Response Act, students are eligible if they would receive food aid in school but have been in virtual learning for five years or due to quarantine or illness are absent or more days.

According to FSSA secretary Dr. Jennifer Sullivan’s students were identified from their individual schools after the state requested the list of all students who met these admission requirements.

As of mid-October, the state will distribute $ 42 million to more than 261,000 students in the form of an electronic performance transfer card, Sullivan said. All cards should be received by the end of November.

Status dashboard:Nearly 2,400 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in schools, including 250 cases from new students

As with the spring implementation of the program, families who have not yet used EBT cards will receive their cards by post. Families who already use these cards will add these benefits to their typical rations.

The daily benefit per child is approximately $ 6 according to the FSSA, and the total is divided by the daily amount multiplied by the number of school days on which the students were not given a meal for at least five consecutive days due to the health emergency.

The spending amounts may vary depending on the student in a single household, depending on the school’s implementation of in-person, distance or hybrid instruction.

Funding was approved in March under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. In the first iteration of the program, over 600,000 cards were distributed to Hoosier families for a total of $ 188 million in support.

“Our goal was to ensure that children suddenly found at home and outside of school services,” said Sullivan, “had access to plenty of food every day.”

While funding was only approved for the first two months of the semester, Sullivan said she was “cautiously optimistic”. Congress would re-approve the program for the remainder of the semester and into the spring.

For more information about the program and a list of frequently asked questions, see in.gov/fssa/dfr.

Do you need food aid?

Explore the resources available in your area using the Food Assistance Availability Map available at in.gov/fssa/dfr/food-assistance-availability-map.

The Indy Hunger Network’s Community Compass app is available free of charge from Google Play and the App Store. Food aid resources are available in English and Spanish.

You can reach IndyStar reporter Holly Hays at 317-444-6156 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter: @hollyvhays.

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