FRANKFORT, Ky. — Time is running out to receive food benefits for children. 

What You Need To Know

  • Deadline to apply for P-EBT is Monday, Aug. 31

  • Benefit provides $313.50 per child for any children on national free or reduced lunch program

  • Benefit is meant to make up for meals lost during school closures

  • 115,000 Kentucky families eligible to receive the benefits

The deadline to apply for Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) is Monday, Aug. 31. 

The program allows any family who has children on the national free or reduced lunch program to receive $313.50 per child. 

“It's to make up for meals missed while schools were closed last spring during the month of March, April, and May,” explained Jessica Klein, a policy associate at Kentucky Center for Economic Policy. 

The money is all federal dollars and doesn’t necessarily have an income threshold. 

"It doesn't take anything away from anybody else for somebody who feels like maybe their income's a little higher than it needs to be, and they don't feel like necessarily they need it,” said Jason Dunn, director of Division of Family Support, Department Community Based Services. "This benefit is for you.” 

While more than 500,000 Kentucky families have signed up to use this federal benefit made available through the Families First Act, there are still 115,000 families that are eligible to sign up to receive the benefits. If all remaining families apply for the benefits, Kentucky’s economy could benefit $35 million. 

“It’s a way to stimulate the economy that's meant for people of all income levels,” Dunn said. “Please apply. If we don't claim these dollars, the funds just lapse, they go away.”

The benefits are for March, April, and May, but the Cabinet for Health and Family Services has applied to extend the benefits for the months of August and September. 

“If you're already eligible, and they approve our application, you will automatically receive those benefits for August and September if your school system is participating in NTI,” CHFS Secretary Eric Friedlander said earlier this week. 

For those that feel they do not need the assistance but are eligible, you can apply for the benefits and use the funds to donate food to a local food pantry or support your local famers market.