Food Benefits

​Helping feed Oregon's kids

P-EBT Status: Completed spring 2019/2020 school year and September 2020/2021. All applicable cards have been issued. The resolution period is closed. Oregon has not been approved for additional months at this time.

The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), in collaboration with the Oregon Department of Education (ODE), are working to provide benefits to eligible households that meet the criteria for receiving benefits to help cover the cost of lunches that would have otherwise been provided in school. This benefit is called Pandemic Electronic Benefit (P-EBT) and is a one-time payment. 

The criteria used to determine eligibility for P-EBT is based on whether a child was eligible and enrolled in the School Meal Program (free or reduced school lunch) through the Oregon school system when schools were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The intent of this one-time payment is to replace the value of free/reduced lunches children would have received during the time Oregon schools were closed.

An application is not required to receive P-EBT.

Eligible households were identified by the Oregon Department of Education and local school districts based on a student's eligibility for free or reduced lunch, or attendance in a school operating a community eligibility program.

Read the Frequently Asked Questions below for more information.


What is P-EBT
Pandemic Electronic Benefits (P-EBT) provides nutritional resources to families who have lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to pandemic-related school closures. Eligible families will receive a one-time payment on a new or existing Oregon EBT card to help replace the food they would have received if they'd been attending school. Eligible families may use these benefits similar to how Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits are used.

What criteria was used to determine which child received this benefit?
Eligible households were identified by the Oregon Department of Education and local school districts based on a student's eligibility for free or reduced lunch, or attendance in a school operating a community eligibility program.

The criteria used to determine eligibility for this is based on whether a child was eligible and enrolled in the School Meal Program (free or reduced school lunch) through the Oregon school system when schools were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

How do I use this benefit?
If your family does not currently receive SNAP, you will receive an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card in the mail. You can use this card to purchase certain foods.

If your family currently receives SNAP, the P-EBT benefit will be loaded onto your Oregon EBT card; you will not receive a new card with this one-time benefit.

What can I purchase with this benefit?
You can use your P-EBT benefits at food grocers that accept SNAP benefits, like grocery stores and farmers markets, to buy certain foods such as:

  • Breads and cereals
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Meats, fish, and poultry
  • Dairy products
  • Seeds and plants that produce food for you and your household to eat

 

Food benefits may not be used to buy items such as:

  • Beer
  • Wine
  • Liquor
  • Cigarettes or tobacco
  • Vitamins and medicines
  • Food that can be eaten in-store
  • Prepared foods
  • Non-food items such as:
    • Pet foods
    • Soaps
    • Paper products
    • Household supplies

 

Will I get a card for each child?

We have made every effort to consolidate all P-EBT payments for eligible children together. However, you may receive multiple EBT cards, and you may use each card until the amounts have all been spent.

How do I use or activate my EBT card?
Follow the instructions that come with your EBT card. When calling the number on the back of the card, you will be prompted to complete the following steps:

  1. Enter the 16-digit EBT card number
  2. Enter the primary account holders (oldest child) date of birth to be entered:  MMDDYYYY
  3. Enter the primary account holders (oldest child) 5-digit zip code
  4. Create a 4-digit pin number
  5. Confirm your 4-digit pin number
Once completed, the card is active, and the pin number is set. The card can be used immediately.

Any issues activating your card, please call the number on the back of your card. There is an English and Spanish option.

How long do I have to use the benefit? Does it expire?
Your P-EBT benefits will be available for one year to use; after which time they will expire.

I think my child is eligible for but did not get the one-time P-EBT benefit. How do I apply?
The one-time P-EBT benefits are automatically paid to children who were on a list provided by the Oregon Department of Education and are sent to the last known address provided by the child's school.

If you believe your child was eligible and you did not receive a P-EBT benefits, or there are other children in your home who should have qualified for this benefit that were not included, please continue to check this website. ODHS will post if we receive approval to fund additional benefits now that the funding time has expired.

I heard my child was eligible for the one-time P-EBT benefit, but the child's other parent got the card.
The guardian on record with the school on the date of issuance received the benefit.

Is this benefit available for current SNAP families?
If your family currently receives SNAP, the P-EBT benefit will be loaded onto your current EBT card. 

If your family does not currently receive SNAP, you will receive an EBT card in the mail.

I do not receive other state benefits. Do I need to keep the EBT card after I use the benefits?
P-EBT benefits were authorized through federal legislation. At this time, additional P-EBT benefits have not been authorized; however, should a future benefit be made available, benefits will go on this same card. Please keep your card in a safe place. We will notify you if your child(ren) is eligible for any future P-EBT benefits.

Will this impact my current SNAP benefits?
No, this one-time payment is in addition to your regular monthly SNAP benefit.

If I receive this benefit, does that mean I can no longer pick up lunch boxes or meal supplements provided by my school or community?
No. P-EBT benefits supplement grab-and-go student meal sites. They do not replace them.

Can I deny this benefit? What happens if I don't spend the money?
If you choose not to accept the one-time benefit, simply destroy the card. No other action is needed.

What if my address changed between when my child(ren) was/were in school and now?
If you are currently receiving benefits from ODHS, notices regarding this benefit will be mailed to the address that ODHS has on file. 

If you are not currently on SNAP benefits, your EBT card and notice will be mailed to the address you had on file with the school.

I am an immigrant parent. Will this affect my public charge?
No, it will not. Using P-EBT benefits does not impact you or your child's immigration status. The public charge rule does not apply to P-EBT benefits. P-EBT benefits are NOT SNAP benefits and are not considered in a public charge test.