Policy and Advocacy
Federal updates: With the passage of the American Rescue Plan earlier this year, our elected officials in Washington delivered emergency aid to millions of people. This critical support is not only helping families put food on the table and pay their rent, but is boosting vaccine distribution, aiding schools, and strengthening the economy. This week, President Biden presented the anticipated American Families Plan, a comprehensive proposal to build a strong and equitable recovery.
We applaud the President’s bold plan and encourage our Congressional delegation to seize this chance to build a more equitable economy where all our families can make ends meet and food insecurity is a thing of the past. We will follow up in our weekly email next week with details on the nutrition provisions in the American Families Plan and how they can help build the foundation for economic success for all.
Back for a moment to the American Rescue Plan – in that legislation, Congress expanded the P-EBT program to operate during the summer. On Monday, the USDA announced the launch of “Summer EBT,” which is anticipated to feed more than 30 million low-income children across the country. Summer hunger has been a persistent problem even without the health and economic challenges of the pandemic. We are thrilled that the USDA continues to respond to heightened child food insecurity and will update you on the implementation of Summer EBT in Pennsylvania as details become available.
Here in PA, we have some important updates on P-EBT for the 2020-2021 school year:
- As we noted in past weeks the most important things to know are that P-EBT for young children will be issued to young children in households that a) receive SNAP benefits, and b) who live in an area where schools have been using remote or hybrid learning models. ALL families with young children who are not enrolled in SNAP but believe they may be eligible should apply! We have added new social media graphics about this to our P-EBT toolkit in many languages, including Spanish, Albanian, Chinese, French, Khmer, Nepali, Portuguese, Russian, Swahili, and Vietnamese. PLEASE help us spread the word!
- Also, an Important update on the timing of P-EBT benefits for K-12 students: DHS will start issuing P-EBT for school-age children on May 10th, and they will take 10 business days to be transferred. More than 600,000 P-EBT cards will have to be mailed in Pennsylvania. Other states will also be using the same card company, and there may be postal delays. The card maker is going to work hard to make sure all cards are created and in the mail by the end of May or first week of June, so you may not receive your card until the end of June. If you receive SNAP benefits, P-EBT should be loaded to your SNAP card by the end of May. If it does not, you may be receiving a card in the mail.
Lastly, our hotline staff continues to receive many questions from callers about the Child Tax Credit. Please see this great flyer from Community Legal Services that covers the basics, or visit the Campaign for Working Families website to learn about tax filing assistance. The deadline for filing – May 17 – is quickly approaching.