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Gov. Pritzker Announces One Million Illinois Children to Receive Monthly Food Aid Following Expansion of Pandemic EBT Program

Gov. JB Pritzker announced on Tuesday that beginning next month, approximately one million children across Illinois will receive additional federally funded food benefits, valued up to $110 million per month.

Posted: Feb 23, 2021 12:51 PM

Gov. JB Pritzker announced on Tuesday that beginning next month, approximately one million children across Illinois will receive additional federally funded food benefits, valued up to $110 million per month.

Following a state request to expand eligibility for the program, the additional food support, funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, is expected to reach about 200,000 more eligible children this school year compared to last year.

Eligible children across the State will automatically receive these benefits on an “EBT Card” mailed directly to their homes. The funding will be distributed by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) in partnership with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to Illinois students who are eligible for Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) support.

“Today, we move another step closer to ending hunger for all of Illinois with a benefits program that will support approximately 1 million children across our state. Starting next month, eligible families across Illinois can be on the lookout for a benefits card in the mail to provide additional, federally funded food benefits for their children,” said Pritzker.

Families do not need to apply for this round of P-EBT benefits. In the coming weeks, they will receive one P-EBT card per eligible child, and the cards can be used to purchase food items at EBT-authorized retailers, which include most major grocery stores in Illinois. Cards will be mailed to the address the school has on file for the child.

Additionally, in the coming month, the Illinois Commission to End Hunger – a public-private partnership organized by the Governor’s office and stakeholders from across the state – will release a new “Roadmap” to end hunger in Illinois. The forthcoming plan focuses on strategies to better connect Illinoisans to nutrition assistance programs, including P-EBT, and promote equitable food access.

Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) is part of the U.S. government response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, go to https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=131776.

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