May 03, 2021

Maryland Congressional Delegation Secures Additional $727 Million for Students Missing Meals Due to COVID-19 School Closures

U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Anthony Brown, Jamie Raskin and David Trone (all D-Md.) today announced that Maryland can extend its Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) nutrition and meals assistance program for eligible Maryland children through June 2021. From August 2020 and with the June extension, the State will issue an estimated $727 million in benefits to help families purchase food while schools are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, benefitting more than 530,000 students who have temporarily lost access to free or reduced-price meals at school - more than half of Maryland’s school-age children - according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Families depend on critical nutrition assistance programs, such as P-EBT, to provide our children with affordable and healthy meals,” the lawmakers said. “Team Maryland will continue to secure federal resources that tackle food insecurity and ensure that no child in Maryland goes hungry, especially as we work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The P-EBT program was first established in March 2020 after Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The American Rescue Plan Act extended P-EBT through the duration of the COVID-19 public health crisis to help provide students with healthy, affordable and nutritious meals.

More information on the P-EBT program can be found here.