Now that the Pandemic Electronic Bank Transfer (P-EBT cards) funding from the federal government has been approved, Maryland students qualifying for either SNAP or Free and Reduced Price Meals (471,000 state-wide at least) will receive, in June, the federal funds that would have helped pay for meals in schools since March. This benefit will be about $114 per child per month so it will be hundreds of dollars per child for food, about $5 million into Baltimore County’s local economy alone.
Students in the SNAP program will have these funds transferred directly on to their current cards. Students now qualifying for FARMS will have to enroll and get a card in this new program – Parents/Guardians PLEASE KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR A LETTER FROM the MD Department of Human Services as you must reply to this letter to get a card for these funds if your child qualifies for FARMS. We need every single child, about 31,000 students in BCPS, who now qualifies for FARMS to get these funds on this new card.
What to do now – if your student is NOT currently in one of these assistance programs, find out if you qualify for either SNAP or FARMS and apply if you do! These benefits will only be available to students/families who have applied and are approved – now is the time to apply!
SNAP application link: https://mydhrbenefits.dhr.state.md.us/ And then the first step is to “create account,” if you don’t already have one.
Also, there is a new service to help folks apply for SNAP over the phone from Catholic Charities (Spanish and English):
8:30 am – 5:00 pm Mon. – Fri.
To apply for the Free and Reduced Meals Program through BCPS: https://mealapps.bcps.org/lfserver/EFORM
Well over 50,000 people have lost their jobs in Baltimore County and worse is probably to come. In addition, this summer is going to be horrific in terms of hunger and food insecurity with so many more children in need; access to food for students in poverty after schools close for the summer is very limited – only about 1 in 5 receive assistance through summer food programs (here’s hoping that BCPS keeps going with current food distributions). These P-EBT funds for food over the summer will be crucial in alleviating hunger and food insecurity!