Northwest Iowa — If you’re part of an Iowa family whose children receive free or reduced-price lunches from school, you’ve probably received or will soon receive a P-EBT card with some unexpected benefits from the government.

According to the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services, the federal Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act allows states to issue emergency food assistance benefits for Summer 2022 for School-Aged Children.

Officials tell us the Summer 2022 for School Aged Children program provides $391 per child who was in grades K-12 during the 21-22 school year. Additional information, including eligibility details, can be found online. They tell us benefits are being issued to eligible children on new EBT cards to be mailed by the end of November.

Janee Harvey, HHS’ Division Administrator of Adult, Child, and Family Services says “High food costs have affected every Iowan, and we hear every day how low-income parents continue to struggle to meet their children’s nutritional needs. These additional benefits will make it a little bit easier for parents to make ends meet and provide healthy, and nutritious meals for their children.”

Some families have said the literature accompanying the cards is confusing and looks like it wasn’t changed from when similar cards were sent out after schools were closed due to COVID-19 in 2020. The literature says “The money on this card is to be used to purchase food due to the extra food cost you had when schools were closed.”

For more information, you can visit the comprehensive P-EBT FAQ documents, available here.

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