Skip to main content

Pandemic EBT – State Plans for 2021-22

EO Guidance Document #
Resource type
Policy Memos
Guidance Documents
Resource Materials
DATE: August 26, 2021
SUBJECT: State Plan for Pandemic EBT: Children in School and Child Care, 2021-2022
TO: SNAP State Agencies
Child Nutrition State Agencies

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is releasing new guidance today to assist states in the development of Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) plans for school year 2021-22. States distributed P-EBT benefits to millions of families last school year to replace meals lost by their children as schools and child care facilities closed or restricted their in-person schedules due to the COVID emergency. As we enter a new school year under uncertain conditions, children’s access to meals at school and child care remains at risk.

While NSLP-participating schools have the option to serve free meals to all students this school year through the Seamless Summer Option, P-EBT fills a critical gap for children with virtual or hybrid schedules who qualify for free or reduced price meals under standard NSLP rules. P-EBT provides a similar benefit for younger children who participate in SNAP. USDA is committed to working with all states to ensure that P-EBT remains a resource for these children.

Today’s new P-EBT guidance consists of an updated state plan template and a set of Q&As. Both documents are available on USDA’s P-EBT website. These should look familiar to you; relatively little has changed compared to last year’s guidance. USDA encourages you to review these documents and direct your questions to your USDA-FNS regional offices.

USDA looks forward to working with you this school year on your new P-EBT plans.

Jessica Shahin
Associate Administrator
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
Cindy Long
Deputy Administrator
Child Nutrition Programs


Page updated: March 30, 2023

The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.