Hawaii DHS, DOE announce summer P-EBT program for keiki

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(Department of Human Services photo)

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Hawaii Department of Human Services (DHS) and Department of Education (DOE) announced the roll-out of the Summer Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program on Thursday, July 8.

Children who qualify for free or reduced-price school meals or attend Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) schools during the pandemic have benefits allocated to them through the program. See details below.

Keiki under 6 years old who receive SNAP benefits between June 1, 2021 and August 2, 2021 are also eligible for benefits under the Keiki Under 6 Food Support Program. Click here for more details.

Parents whose children are not enrolled in the free and reduced-price school lunch program but would like for them to receive P-EBT benefits will need to apply here by Monday, Aug. 2.

So far, DHS has provided more than 111,000 eligible children with $184 million in food assistance support. Those who qualify for summer P-EBT benefits are automatically enrolled through verification, depending on their age. There is no application to receive these benefits.

However, if your child is attending a DOE school and has not been auto-enrolled, click here to apply by Aug. 2. If your child is attending a NSLP-participating charter or private school, please contact your school.

Who is the Summer P-EBT for?

Students who, as of the last day of School Year 2020-2021, meet one of the three requirements below:

  1. Are enrolled (this includes high school seniors) for free or reduced-price school meals at a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
  2. Who are enrolled in a school that provides free meals to all students through the CEP or another provision. Click here for a list of CEP schools.
  3. Who apply for free or reduced-price school meals by August 2, 2021, and are determined eligible and enrolled for free or reduced-price school meals at a school that participates in the NSLP.

How does this work?

  • Eligible students will have their benefits issued to their own Hawaii P-EBT account that is accessible through a Hawaii P-EBT card or a Kokua EBT card.
  • For newly eligible students that did not receive P-EBT for the 2020-21 school year, they will be mailed a Hawaii P-EBT card.
  • Families new to the program that are mailed a Hawaii P-EBT card will receive a card in the name of each eligible student.
  • For children under 6 years of age, eligible children will have their benefits issued to their family’s existing SNAP account and Kokua EBT.

What foods can P-EBT benefits buy?

  • P-EBT benefits can be used to buy SNAP-eligible foods, such as groceries (including frozen), snacks, and seeds or plants that will produce food. P-EBT benefits cannot be used to buy alcohol, tobacco products, vitamins, live animals, prepared foods, or any non-food household items. Click here for a list of SNAP-eligible foods.
  • Hawaii P-EBT cards can also be used in the Da Bux program and at participating farmer’s markets.

How much will students/children receive for the summer benefit?

  • They will receive benefits of $438 per student/child to cover the summer period starting from June 1 through Aug. 2.
  • A letter, separate from the Hawaii P-EBT card, will be mailed in early July, to inform you how much your student/child will be receiving for the summer.

When will benefits be issued?

The Summer P-EBT benefits will be loaded to the Hawaii P-EBT accounts, or SNAP EBT accounts, and be available on the following dates:

Benefit Availability & Amount

  • July 7 — $219
  • August 10 — $219

Note:  For students who apply for free or reduced-priced meals after the 2020-2021 school year ends and by August 2, 2021, and are determined eligible and enrolled in free or reduced-priced meals, Summer P-EBT benefits will be issued in the latter part of August 2021.

Do I or my child have to be a U.S. citizen to receive P-EBT benefits?

No. These benefits are for all children who are either enrolled for free or reduced-price school meals or enrolled at a school that provides free meals to all students through the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) or another provision. Using P-EBT benefits will NOT affect a parent or child’s immigration status.

Click here to check on your child’s P-EBT benefit status.

Where can I call if I have more questions or report changes like if I move?

You can call the P-EBT call center at 1-888-975-PEBT (7328) or write to us by clicking the “Contact Us” button at pais-pebt.dhs.hawaii.gov. If a replacement card is needed, please call the Fidelity Information Service (FIS) customer service at 1- 888-328-4292 and mention you are requesting a replacement Hawaiʻi P-EBT or Kokua EBT card.

What if my card is lost or stolen?

If you need a replacement card (Kokua EBT or Hawaiʻi P-EBT) please call the Fidelity Information Service (FIS) customer service at 1- 888-328-4292 and mention you are requesting a replacement card for a P-EBT account (if requesting a Hawai’i P-EBT card).

Where can I call if I have more questions (such as where can I report a change of address)?

Contact the P-EBT call center at 1-888-975-PEBT(7328), or send an email message to hi.pebt@dhs.hawaii.gov.

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