The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS or the Agency), an agency of the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA or the Department), is issuing a final rule to add regulations that will ensure the integrity of the supplemental allotments created by Section 1101 of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), as amended by the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act for households with children who would have otherwise received free or reduced price school meals under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, but for school closures or reduction in the number of days or hours that students attend school in response to the ongoing and national Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency.
Such allotments are referred to as Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) benefits. The CR extended the authority for P-EBT through fiscal year 2021, and also authorized P-EBT for households with at least one child enrolled in a covered child care facility (as defined by Section 1101(i)(1) of the FFCRA, as amended) and the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) when the covered child care facility is closed or has reduced attendance or hours or one or more schools in the area of the covered child care facility are closed or have reduced attendance or hours.
This final rule would also safeguard the integrity of SNAP, as P-EBT operates within the SNAP infrastructure. USDA FNS is responsible for administering P-EBT and SNAP at the federal level.