Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Pandemic EBT Status Update


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Main Web Page

On May 4, 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved the California Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) State plan for young children in child care. The State plan for SNAP-enrolled children in child care provides benefits for the months of October 2020 through May 2021.

California will confirm that each child’s home address, based on information used to determine SNAP eligibility, is in the area of a closed school or a school operating with reduced attendance or hours. For this purpose, an “area” is defined as a county. For all child care aged children in each area, California will issue a P-EBT monthly benefit amount equal to the highest monthly issuance amount for a school in that area. Additionally, the State will utilize a two-tiered benefit structure: one benefit amount for child care aged children residing in an area with at least one school providing all virtual instruction, and one benefit amount for child care aged children residing in an area with at least one school providing hybrid instruction.

The State will use the best available data to issue benefits in amounts that are tied as closely as possible to the number of days that eligible children do not receive a meal service through their covered child care facility.

For more information, visit the USDA Food and Nutrition Service State Guidance on Coronavirus P-EBT web page External link opens in new window or tab..

School Year (SY) 2019–20 P-EBT Plan Amendment

The USDA has approved an amendment to the California state plan for P-EBT benefits issued during the 2019–20 SY. This amendment allows the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) to issue P-EBT cards to children who were Free and Reduced-Price meal eligible, but who did not submit an online application for P-EBT benefits during the Spring of 2020. The CDSS and California Department of Education (CDE) have identified 514,140 children who will receive a P-EBT card for SY 2019–20 based on the approval of this plan amendment. Families with questions on 2019−20 benefits should call the P-EBT Helpline referenced below. The Helpline is open Monday through Friday, from 6 am to 8 pm.

SY 2020–21 P-EBT Status

The CDSS and CDE continue to work with the USDA to secure approval of our P-EBT plan for the current SY. The CDSS and CDE will communicate to stakeholders as soon as the state plan is approved and P-EBT cards for SY 2020–21 begin to be mailed.

The CDE and CDSS will host an informational webinar for the School and Education community to overview additional details about the rollout of SY 2020–21 P-EBT benefits on Thursday, June 10, 2021 from 2:00–3:30 PM. Registration information for this webinar will be shared in a forthcoming listserv announcement.

Summer P-EBT

On April 26, 2021, the USDA also announced the availability of P-EBT benefits for Summer 2021. Under this program extension, P-EBT benefits will be available to all children previously determined eligible for P-EBT during the 2020–21 SY. Implementation of Summer P-EBT requires that state agencies have an approved SY 2020–21 P-EBT plan. The CDSS and CDE will submit an amendment for Summer P-EBT benefits once the SY 2020–21 plan has been approved.

Contact Information

For more information about P-EBT, you may visit the CDSS P-EBT web page External link opens in new window or tab..

Families that require assistance with existing P-EBT cards can call the P-EBT Customer Service Center Helpline at 877-328-9677.

For updated information about COVID-19 emergency feeding, please visit the CDE COVID-19 Guidance in the Child Nutrition Programs web page.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, May 26, 2021
Related Content
Recently Posted in Nutrition
  • SP 03-2022: Supply Chain Assistance Funds (added 24-Jan-2022)
    Announces new federal funding to alleviate supply chain challenges and associated financial difficulties.
  • ACTION: 2022–23 FFVP Request for Applications (added 20-Jan-2022)
    The CDE NSD announces a grant opportunity for elementary schools to participate in the FFVP. The FFVP grant period is July 1, 2022–June 30, 2023. All eligible agencies, both current FFVP grantees and new applicants, must respond online to this RFA.
  • Outreach: 2022–23 FFVP Request for Applications (added 20-Jan-2022)
    The CDE NSD announces a grant opportunity for elementary schools to participate in the FFVP. The FFVP grant period is July 1, 2022–June 30, 2023. All eligible agencies, both current FFVP grantees and new applicants, must respond online to this RFA.
  • USDA Foods Available List for SY 2022-23 (added 20-Jan-2022)
    Announcing the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) recently published the USDA Foods Available List and the USDA Foods Processor Material Prices for School Year (SY) 20221–23.
  • New FFVP Guidance: Weekly Servings Flexibility (added 19-Jan-2022)
    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and labor and supply shortages for SY 2021–22, the CDE is releasing optional flexibilities for the FFVP. These flexibilities should be used on an as-needed basis and are in effect for the duration of SY 2021–22.

  • Pandemic EBT Local Administrative Grant (added 18-Jan-2022)
    Pandemic EBT Local Administrative Cost Grant Award for School Year 2020–21. The CDE will issue P-EBT Local Administrative Cost Grant awards to eligible LEAs in March 2022.
  • Interstate Meat Dist. Inc. Recalls Ground Beef (added 10-Jan-2022)
    Interstate Meat Dist. Inc. recalls ground beef products due to possible E. Coli O157:H7 contamination.
  • Updates to the Federal Micropurchase Threshold (added 03-Jan-2022)
    This information contains updates to the official policies surrounding the new micropurchase threshold.
  • ECR Funds Now Available for Eligible SNP Operators (added 22-Dec-2021)
    The California Department of Education (CDE) has disbursed the Emergency Operational Costs Reimbursement (ECR) Program funds to all eligible School Nutrition Program (SNP) Operators through the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS).
  • ECR Funds Available for Eligible CACFP Operators (added 22-Dec-2021)
    The California Department of Education (CDE) has disbursed the Emergency Operational Costs Reimbursement Program funds to all eligible Child and Adult Care Food Program Operators through the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System.