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.

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.

If you received a card for your child (children), it’s time to use it! The benefits do expire if you don’t use the card at least once a year. Contact the Food Bank with questions.

Helpful Answers to Common Questions

Pandemic EBT (or P-EBT) is a federal program that gives eligible families food benefits in addition to free or reduced price meals at child care or school.

  • Young children are eligible if they:
    • Were under age 6 as of August 1, 2022
    • AND were part of a household getting CalFresh food benefits from August 2022 through May 2023.
  • School-aged children (TK-12) are eligible if, during the 2022-2023 school year, they:
    • Were eligible for free or reduced-price meals;
    • AND were enrolled in a school participating in the National School Lunch Program/School Breakfast Program or a provision school;
    • AND did not attend school in person or had five or more excused absences in any month due to COVID-19 (this includes student enrolled in virtual learning).
    • Can get Summer P-EBT benefits if they are eligible for free or reduced meals and attended National School Lunch Program/School Breakfast program or a Provision School as of May 2023.

If a child meets the eligibility requirements, a card will automatically be mailed to them. Each child will receive their own card.

August 2023

  • Young Children Under Age 6 (August-December 2022 benefit months)
  • School-aged Children, TK-12 (June-August 2023 benefit months)

September 2023

Cards will be mailed to new cardholders. Existing cardholders will have benefits reloaded:

  • Young Children Under Age 6 (January-May 2023 benefit months)
  • School-aged Children, TK-12

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.

Call 877-328-9677 (M-F from 6am to 8pm)

  1. Choose your preferred language
  2. Enter your 16-digit card number. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE YOUR CARD, STAY ON THE LINE FOR AN AGENT!
  3. Press 5 to get help with P-EBT
  4. Select one of the options provided OR stay on the line
  5. Wait times vary, but follow these steps and you will be connected with a P-EBT agent

Need help with CALFRESH?

The Food Bank can help!
Fill out the CalFresh contact form or book a phone call with a member from our team 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.