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Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) Program

P-EBT Updates

Application Period for 2019-20 Closed; State Developing Plan for 2020-21

The second application window for the 2019-20 school year closed on Sept. 29, 2020. 

DCFS is developing a plan to provide P-EBT again for the 2020-21 school year, based on recent guidance from the USDA Food and Nutrition Service and the new executive order from President Biden. We are actively working with our education partners at the state and local level on a process to determine eligibility and provide benefits for this school year, while schools are in various states of in-person, hybrid and virtual learning models and not uniformly providing meals to students.

We will provide updates as more information is available.


P-EBT Program - Frequently Asked Questions


General Information

What is P-EBT?

It stands for Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer. P-EBT is food assistance for families of school children who are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or School Breakfast Program (SBP), but are not receiving those meals due to campus closures and/or reduced in-person class schedules related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The P-EBT progam was authorized by Congress in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 for the 2019-20 school year. It was later reauthorized for the 2020-21 school year.

The Louisiana Department of Education and Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services are partnering to offer the program to Louisiana's eligible students. 

How does P-EBT work?  Is P-EBT like SNAP?

P-EBT is not SNAP. Any eligibility for P-EBT is not related to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).

However, P-EBT benefits are issued on an EBT card to buy food like SNAP benefits are issued.

Unlike SNAP, P-EBT eligibility is not tied to income, only to whether the child receives free or reduced-price school meals. The money on the card is specifically intended to replace meals that a student would have received for free or at a reduced price at school.