The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in collaboration with the Iowa Department of Education, unveiled an important initiative aimed at providing crucial assistance to eligible school-age children in Iowa for the upcoming school year. This groundbreaking endeavor has gained approval from the USDA Food and Nutrition Service and resembles the impact of food stamps.
This initiative will deliver $120 per qualifying child, distributed through newly issued P-EBT cards scheduled for delivery by October 4. Iowa’s HHS has projected that roughly 240,000 children in Iowa meet the eligibility criteria for this support, amounting to a total of $28 million in food assistance though this “pandemic” SNAP benefits.
Who Qualifies for the P-SNAP Benefits in Iowa?
“Access to a consistent, nutritious diet not only ensures a child’s basic needs are being met, these benefits are an investment in their health and future success, which are key focus areas for HHS,” said HHS Director Kelly Garcia. “These additional funds will support thousands of Iowa families in putting nutritious food on their table.”
In general, eligibility extends to school-age students who were enrolled in grades K-12 during the 2022-2023 academic year and were beneficiaries of free and reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program as of May 31, 2023. The P-EBT (Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer) cards could be used to purchase eligible food items, making nourishment accessible to individuals and families facing economic challenges. P-EBT cards can be used exactly the same as those given to recipients of food stamps, or SNAP benefits.
What Can I Purchase With My SNAP P-EBT Card?
The food stamps P-EBT card can be used to purchase a wide range of food items, all of them intended to tackle food insecurity. These items include fruits and vegetables which could be fresh, frozen, canned, and dried fruits and vegetables.
Meat, poultry, and fish are also available to purchase, including chicken, beef, pork, and fish fillets. Eligible items include milk, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products. Breads and cereals and are also included in the allowed list: SNAP recipients can buy bread, cereal, rice, pasta, and other grain-based products.
Furthermore, the P-EBT card can buy seeds and plants that produce food for the household to grow fruits and vegetables.
Iowan families could visit the comprehensive P-EBT FAQ in this official website for more information about the Summer 2023 School Age P-EBT program. If your family deal with food insecurity, you could check your eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) at https://hhs.iowa.gov/how-to-apply; or call 211 or the food bank in your community.