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$413 million in summer food assistance benefits being issued by NCDHHS to 1.1 million children

RALEIGH — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has begun issuing $413 million in food assistance payments to an estimated 1.1 million eligible children through the Summer Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer food assistance program. Children who are eligible for the summer receive a one-time payment of $375 on their family’s P-EBT card.

The P-EBT program provides food assistance benefits on an EBT card to North Carolina families whose children are eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals at school. North Carolina was recently approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to continue P-EBT through the summer as an extension of the 2020-21 school year. Families do not need to apply for P-EBT.

“Children need access to enough healthy food every day to thrive and develop to their full potential, and that need doesn’t go away at the end of the school year,” said NCDHHS Chief Deputy Secretary for Opportunity and Well-Being Susan Gale Perry. “These benefits will help hundreds of thousands of North Carolina families buy groceries this summer.”

As of July 28, 2021, NCDHHS, in partnership with the NC Department of Public Instruction, has provided more than $1.7 billion in critical food assistance benefits to more than 1.2 million children across the state.

Summer P-EBT is available to North Carolina students who were eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals at school as of the last month of the school year and to children under age 6 who receive Food and Nutrition Services benefits. In addition, children who apply for free or reduced-price meals or FNS in the summer prior to Aug. 31, 2021 and are approved may be eligible to receive the full summer benefit. Those who become newly eligible will receive their benefit in late September or October.

For more information on how to apply for free or reduced-price meals, please contact your child’s local school district. To see if your household may be eligible to receive FNS benefits, visit

Additional information regarding summer P-EBT can be found at

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