Families with students relying on free or reduced-cost meals at school can now receive a single payment of $375 as a part of a summer round of Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) food aid, which has previously provided single payments of up to $1,200 for eligible students.

The federal benefit provides food aid for the 3.7 million eligible, low-income children in Texas who lost access to free and reduced-price meals when the pandemic first shuttered schools. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission will allocate more than $1.4 billion to families that have struggled to afford food during the pandemic for this latest round in coordination with the Texas Department of Agriculture and the Texas Education Agency.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that families who applied for P-EBT aid for the 2020-21 school year and already received benefits will automatically receive the $375 payment, along with families of children born after Aug. 1, 2014 who relied on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, benefits this summer. SNAP provides food aid for low-income adults.

The P-EBT card can be used at all places that accept SNAP payments, including grocery stores and supermarkets.

For families who have not applied, they now have until Sept. 13 for the previous round of pandemic EBT aid, which could range up to $1,200 depending on how often students attended in-person classes at their school.

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