MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Additional Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) benefits are rolling out this week to Alabama children who participate in the National School Lunch Program.

The benefits will help feed an estimated 500,000 children enrolled in the program, which provides free and reduced-price meals at school. The benefits cover the summer months retroactively, since new applications were accepted through August and had to be processed by local schools and the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE).

Families with students who received P-EBT benefits previously for the 2020-21 school year can access the new funds on their existing EBT cards. Those who are new to the National School Lunch Program will receive cards in the mail within 20 days. Recipients should keep their cards in case additional benefits are added in the future.

All children enrolled in the National School Lunch Program are automatically eligible for the benefits. The benefits can be used to purchase SNAP-eligible food items at stores that accept EBT cards.

The Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR) oversees the distribution of P-EBT with assistance from ALSDE. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (USDA-FNS) administers the program at the federal level.

“No child should ever have to worry about his or her next meal,” said Alabama DHR Commissioner Nancy Buckner. “These benefits will offer financial relief to countless families to help reduce the risk of child hunger. We are eager to build upon our successful partnership with USDA-FNS, ALSDE and our advocates as we deliver these important resources to Alabama’s children.”

DHR also announced that all requests for benefit adjustments related to misreported learning plan data for the 2020-21 school year have been addressed as of Nov. 1. Any requests for corrections submitted to ALSDE after Nov. 1 will be processed at a later date.

Support specialists are available to answer questions about P-EBT by phone at 1-800-410-5827 and online at from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.