State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver announced financial assistance is available to help families provide food for their children through the Tennessee Department of Human Services.

The Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer or P-EBT aims to provide financial assistance for school meals missed during the months of March, April, and May due to COVID-19 school closures. The P-EBT money can be used at grocery stores and other retailers that accept EBT cards to buy food for children.

The P-EBT was created through the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act as a way to reimburse families whose children are on a free or reduced lunch program, but could not receive those meals when school closed in the spring.

House Republicans have pushed to ensure Tennesseans’ needs are met during times of crisis.

“There are still many more families who are eligible for this benefit and I would encourage them to apply so they can continue to provide meals during this challenging time,” Weaver said in a press release. “No child should ever have to experience hunger.”

Families must meet the following criteria to qualify: receive free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program or attends a Community Eligibility Provision school that provides free meals to all students. Trousdale County Schools currently are part of the Community Eligibility Provision.

Families already receiving SNAP or TANF benefits do not need to apply as the funds have already been distributed. Families can apply at tn.gov/humanservices or call 1-866-311-4287 by Aug. 14, at 4:30 p.m. Central Time.

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