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Pandemic Electronic Transfer Benefit Available for Eligible Households

May 18, 2020

Fauquier County Public Schools announced it is participating in the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program as part of a food assistance plan approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) that is being implemented statewide by the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) and the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE).

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (P.L. 116-127) (FFCRA) authorized a temporary food assistance program for households with children affected by school closures during the nationwide public health emergency. The Food and Nutrition Service accepted state plans for the P-EBT program and, pursuant to the authority granted under the FFCRA, FNS approved Virginia’s P-EBT operational plan in late April.

Families who are not already approved for free and reduced-price meals for the 2019-20 school year and who are experiencing a reduction in their gross income are being urged to apply now for benefits.  Newly approved families will be eligible to receive P-EBT benefits and will also receive free or reduced-price meals for the first 30 operating days of school in 2020-21.  Apply using the electronic application found on www.fcps1.org/nutrition by May 29, 2020.  After May 29, families will need to submit a paper application.  Anyone needing assistance completing the application or accessing the electronic application should call School Nutrition at 540-422-7223. 

Summary of State Plan

The VDSS will issue P-EBT benefits to current Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households and to non-SNAP households, which include children eligible for free and reduced-price school meals, through Virginia’s SNAP EBT card system. The VDSS, in conjunction with the VDOE and local school divisions, will identify eligible children in both SNAP and non-SNAP households. Households do not have to apply for P-EBT. If a student was eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals at school before the school closure, the student will be included in the file of eligible students provided to VDSS. If a school participated in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) and all students received school meals at no cost, all students enrolled in the CEP school will also be included in the file of eligible students provided to VDSS.

Purpose of the P-EBT

The purpose of the P-EBT food purchasing assistance benefit is to supplement existing food assistance and nutrition programs for low-income households during the pandemic. Students and families who receive P-EBT should also continue to participate in other food assistance programs, such as meals provided by schools and the summer meal programs. To find current locations for school and summer meal distribution, parents and guardians should text FOOD or COMIDA to 877-877.

Additional Information for Eligible Households

Please visit the VDSS Pandemic EBT website or check the local school division website for more information about P-EBT.          

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. 

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: 

(1)     mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture

                 Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

                 1400 Independence Avenue, SW

                 Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2)     fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3)     email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.