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Tyrrell Schools students receive pandemic food benefits

By Brandy Basnight Mann

Tyrrell social services director

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in collaboration with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has submitted a plan and received approval from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to implement a [Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer] P-EBT for School Year 2020-2021.

DHHS provided P-EBT benefits for August and September 2020 to Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) [food stamps] and non-FNS households with one or more children in their household who:

⦁ The school is eligible to provide free or reduced-priced meals for the 2020-2021 school year; and

⦁ The entire school district or charter school utilized virtual learning for all students at least five consecutive school days between August 17 and September 30; and

⦁ Had access to free or reduced-priced meals during the 2019-2020 school year; or

⦁ Was Directly Certified for free or reduced-priced meals at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year; or

⦁ Currently attends a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school.

Tyrrell County Schools are a CEP school, which means ALL TCS students received P-EBT.  The daily rate of benefits for P-EBT is $5.86 per student.  Allotment amounts are calculated based on the number of days the student is not at school due to COVID-19 closures.  In Tyrrell County, 551 students received P-EBT benefits totaling $106,552 for August and September 2020.

There is no application for NC P-EBT benefits.  Some households received benefits on an existing EBT card and some on a new P-EBT card.  If applicable, P-EBT benefits were loaded on the same card that was received during the 2019-2020 P-EBT.  The household may continue to use the same card.  If the household lost or destroyed their previous card, they may order a new card following the instructions provided on the notice.  One option to order a replacement card is to call the NC EBT Call Center at 1-888-622-7328.

Reporter’s note: Myra Shoffner, Tyrrell Schools nutrition director, reported Oct. 2 that school buses deliver about 403 lunches each school day to households having students residing in them. All children ages 0-18, whether students or not, are eligible to receive the free meals, and the driver delivers the number of meals the householder specifies. In addition to the lunches, the buses deliver five breakfast meals per recipient each Monday. This program was operational in August and is continuing now. The program is funded through the Summer Food Service Program of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, she explained.