Deadline Extended for Families to Apply for COVID-19 Food Assistance


Rutherford County Schools

Families still have time to apply for support during this time through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program, otherwise known as P-EBT.

The new application deadline announced by the Tennessee Department of Health Services is Monday, July 13 at 4:30 p.m. Central Time. Applications are available online here:

The P-EBT Program offers students who qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch the opportunity to receive $5.70 per day in food benefits.

Many families are dependent on the meals provided to their children during school hours and were not expecting the added financial burden of these meals during the COVID-19 crisis. The P-EBT program is working to offset some of those unexpected expenses.

Families who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits do not need to apply as their benefits will be automatically applied to their existing EBT cards.

P-EBT is designed to replace meals lost during the months of March, April and May due to COVID-19 school closures. Qualifying families who do not receive SNAP or TANF will receive a P-EBT card in the mail in July that can be used to purchase food at any establishment that accepts EBT or online with Amazon and Walmart.

Throughout the COVID-19 school closures, many districts and schools across Tennessee used innovative ways to continue delivering meals to students and families, such as “grab and go” options, drive-throughs or bus delivery, and on average provided 1.5 million meals a week to families regardless of a student’s enrollment. Many emergency sites are continuing to provide student meals and receiving these meals does not disqualify a family from the P-EBT program.

Individuals who need assistance completing their P-EBT application or have general questions about the program are encouraged to call the TDHS hotline at 1-833-496-0661 and select option 3.