P-EBT California: Online applications for free food for CA kids are now open

SAN FRANCISCO -- If your child is eligible to receive free or reduced-price school meals and you have not already received a P-EBT card for free food, you can now apply online for the benefit.

The California Department of Social Services is mailing food cards worth up to $365 per child to the families of about two million children. Many have already received the cards, but the families of another 1.8 million will need to apply online.

Check your mailbox: Emergency food payments of up to $365 for California kids officially mailed out

The payment cards are labeled "P-EBT" which stands for Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer. The payments are in addition to any other aid your child may already be receiving.

The cards were mailed automatically to families that have applied for CalFresh, Medi-Cal or Foster Care benefits according to a department spokesman.

Children who are not part of those programs, but are still eligible for free or reduced-priced school meals, must apply online to receive the P-EBT benefit.

Online applications open May 22 and will close on June 30, 2020. After that, no more applications will be accepted.

Click here to apply.

The cards can be used to buy food only and are accepted at most grocery stores and farmer's markets.

If you apply online and do not receive your P-EBT card, call California's EBT customer service center at (877) 328-9677. It is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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