Pandemic-EBT Benefits

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic emergency, children who are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals, including foster youth, will receive extra food benefits. These food benefits are called Pandemic EBT or ‘P-EBT’ benefits. P-EBT benefits help caregivers of foster youth buy food while schools are closed. To learn more, click here: 

School-aged youth in foster care are automatically eligible for P-EBT benefits. Families with children who are in foster care do not need to apply or complete any forms, including those in Family Maintenance programs.

  • P-EBT cards will be issued in the child’s name and will be mailed to the caregiver or Foster Family Agency address on file so that the card is available to the primary individual who cooks and makes food purchases on behalf of the child.
  • P-EBT cards will arrive in the mail around May 12 through May 22, 2020.
  •  Each eligible child will receive up to $365 in P-EBT benefits one time. Follow the instructions that came with the P-EBT card and create a private PIN number. Then the card can be used to buy food in most grocery stores and farmer’s markets. P-EBT cards can be used to purchase food online at Amazon and Walmart as well.
  • Students can pick up “to-go meals” from schools and get P-EBT benefits. They do not have to choose between one or the other.

More information about P-EBT online: California’s EBT Customer Service Center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at (877) 328-9677 for questions. You should only contact the Customer Service Center if you have not received your P-EBT card by about May 22.

If you have questions related to foster care, please email:

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