Rep. McBath Requests Update from Governor Kemp Regarding Georgia’s Participation in the P-EBT Program for 2021-2022 School Year

Over 800,000 Georgia students are at risk of losing out on federally funded nutrition assistance this summer if the state of Georgia does not take action.

March 10, 2022

Washington, D.C. — Last week, Congresswoman Lucy McBath delivered a letter to Governor Brian Kemp to inquire about the state of Georgia’s timeline to apply for Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) for the 2021-2022 school year. Specifically, her letter aims to ensure that Georgia obtains a timely U.S. Department of Agriculture-approved plan to extend P-EBT benefits into the summer months, so that low-income children do not go hungry while out of school for the summer. Congresswoman McBath’s letter to Governor Kemp can be read here.

“During the summer months, children are most vulnerable to food insecurity since schools are out of session and summer meal programs only reach a small percentage of children,” McBath wrote. “If a state’s plan for P-EBT is approved by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), then any child eligible for free or reduced-priced meals is eligible for P-EBT benefits over the summer.  States who do not have an approved plan are putting children’s access to food during the summer months in jeopardy.”

First established by Congress in 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic and school closures, the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program is open for children who receive free or reduced-price lunch meals. The monetary value of $6.82 per day for breakfast, lunch, and a snack is estimated to have resulted in a 30 percent reduction in food hardship for low-income children in the week following benefit issuance. The total participation in the National School Lunch Program in Georgia for FY2021 was 819,160 students.