Food Benefits for School-Age Children

On September 28, 2020, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) announced that it will provide additional benefits through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program to help families purchase food for children whose access to free and reduced-price meals at school has been impacted by remote learning this fall due to COVID-19. The program provides a benefit on an EBT card that can be used to buy food at authorized retailers, including most major grocery stores.

In the P-EBT program this fall, children are eligible if they had access to free or reduced-priced meals at school last year, their school district or charter school is eligible to provide free or reduce-priced meals at school this year, and their school district or charter school utilized remote learning for all students for at least five consecutive school days between August 17th and September 30th.

This is different than the eligibility criteria for P-EBT benefits in the spring, which was available to all children who normally access free or reduced-priced meals, regardless of school circumstance. The new eligibility criteria are based on requirements from the US Department of Agriculture. To find out whether a school district or charter school is receiving fall P-EBT benefits, view the list here.

More information about the P-EBT program can be found at

Find more resources to help families impacted by COVID-19.