WASHINGTON — A new federal program which offers additional food resources for children from low-income families was approved for Indiana Friday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The state is now part of "Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer" (EBT), which is a response to the hardships many are facing due to COVID-19. EBT provides assistance to families of children eligible for free or reduced-price meals dealing with school closures.
Indiana will be able to operate Pandemic EBT, a supplemental food purchasing benefit to current SNAP participants, and as a new EBT benefit to other eligible households to offset the cost of meals that would have otherwise been eaten at school.
The state has about 588,127 children eligible for free and reduced-priced lunch, or approximately 53% of children in participating schools.
State agencies may operate Pandemic EBT when a school is closed for at least five consecutive days during a public health emergency designation during which the school would otherwise be in session.