Pandemic EBT (P-EBT)-Extra food benefits during an extra hard time.

P-EBT provides additional food support to eligible families that have been affected by the pandemic. If your child was enrolled in the free or reduced price lunch program, and attended school via distance or hybrid learning in the 2020-2021 school year, you will receive benefits on a P-EBT card!

Have you used you P-EBT Card yet?

Hard times don’t have to be hungry. If your family qualifies for Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer, or P-EBT, you will automatically receive a debit card(s) in the mail. Keep reading to learn about P-EBT, who it’s for, and what you need to know.

P-EBT provides additional food support to eligible families that have been affected by the pandemic.

Here’s what you need to know:

These benefits:

  • Do NOT affect immigration. The program does not report anyone to immigration services for buying food with this card nor will anyone using this card be considered a public charge,
  • Do NOT affect your other benefits. You can still get free or reduced school meals.
  • Do NOT affect your taxes. You don’t need to claim them as income.
  • DO expire, so make sure you use them at least once every year.
  • Do NOT require an application. P-EBT eligibility is based on getting CalFresh food benefits or individual or school eligibility for free or reduced price school meals as well as attending school via distance learning.

Don’t throw your card away! New benefits get added to your card at scheduled intervals.

Helpful Answers to Common Questions

P-EBT is a federal program that provides food benefits for families with children under 6 who also got CalFresh Food benefits between October 2020 and August 2021 or school-age children who were eligible for free or reduced price school meals during the 2020–21 school year. P-EBT provides additional food benefits to make up for free or reduced-price meals usually served at child care or school that children may have missed because of the pandemic.

Young children (under 6 years old) are eligible for P-EBT 2.0 if between October 1, 2020 and August 31, 2021, they were:
• Under 6 years old; and
• Part of a household getting CalFresh Food benefits; and
• Living in a county where at least one school facility was closed or limiting in-person instruction.

School-age children (TK-12th Grade) are eligible for P-EBT 2.0 if they were:
• Enrolled at a school for school year 2020–21 that participated in the federal School Breakfast Program or National School Lunch Program; and
• Eligible to get free or reduced-price meals for school year 2020–21; and
• Assumed to have attended school via all distance learning or a hybrid learning at least some days of the week during school year 2020–21.

P-EBT is a federal program that provides food benefits for families with children under 6 who also got CalFresh Food benefits between October 2020 and August 2021 or school-age children who were eligible for free or reduced price school meals during the 2020–21 school year. P-EBT provides additional food benefits to make up for free or reduced-price meals usually served at child care or school that children may have missed because of the pandemic.

After the P-EBT debit card arrives in the mail, you will need to activate the card before using it.

  1. Follow the instructions to create a personal PIN number. Call the P-EBT Helpline at 877-328-9677.
  2. Shop at the same places that take Cal Fresh Food Benefits. This includes: most grocery stores, most farmers markets, and online at Amazon®, Walmart® and other retailers.
  3. Pay by selecting “EBT” at checkout. You can use multiple cards to cover one purchase.

Need help with CALFRESH?

The Food Bank can help!
Fill out the CalFresh contact form and a member from our team will get in touch with you.

Questions about P-EBT or the CalFresh Program? Contact our CalFresh team at [email protected] or 925-603-3316.