Letter from Food Services Dept. concerning free or reduced meals and other benefits

| May 18, 2020

Dear Parent/Guardian:

During this challenging time we strive to provide you detailed and up-to-date information.  As our community continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to provide you with new information received from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE).

On April 28, 2020, the Federal First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 was established, referred to as the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT).  The purpose of the Federal First Coronavirus Response Act is to provide benefits to families of school-aged children who would have otherwise received free or reduced-priced meals if it were not for school closures.  These families will receive the benefit amount of $5.70 for each school-aged child in their family for each day school has been closed since March 16, 2020, if the student was eligible for free or reduced-price meals prior to school closures.  For the purpose of the P-EBT calculations, June 12, 2020, is being used as the last day of the school year.

While we do not know exactly when the funds will be sent to qualifying families, we do know this funding will be issued in the form of an EBT card by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS).  For families with school-aged children currently directly certified through SNAP benefits, the P-EBT benefit will be loaded to their existing SNAP EBT card.  All other families will receive an EBT card specifically and solely for the purpose of P-EBT.  Below is a breakdown of the number of days students will receive benefits if they were determined eligible for free or reduced-price meals on or after March 16, 2020:

  • Eligible on or before March 31, 2020 – benefit for March 16 through June 12 (65 days)
  • Eligible April 1 – April 30 – benefit for April 1 through June 12 (53 days)
  • Eligible May 1 – May 31 – benefit for May 1 through June 12 (31 days)
  • Eligible June 1 – June 12 – benefit for June 1 through June 12 (10 days)

In order to provide the P-EBT funding, PDE will be working with the District to make sure PDE has all of the necessary contact information for the District’s families who qualify for free or reduced-priced meals.  We believe our student records are up-to-date, but if you had a change in address or phone number, please let us know.

If your family has had an unfortunate change in employment status, please consider applying for the free and reduced program now.  There is still time to get onto the district’s free and reduced roster so that you can get the P-EBT funding.Also, getting approved now will provide eligibility for free and/or reduced-priced meals for the first 30 days of the next school year.  You may apply for free or reduced-price school meals online by going to the COMPASS website at www.compass.state.pa.us or you can continue to use the paper application found on the district’s webpage.

If you have any questions regarding the above information, you may contact Food Service Director, Matthew Kirchoff at matthew_kirchoff@solancosd.org, or Assistant Business Manager, Megan Brown at megan_brown@solancosd.org.



Matthew Kirchoff

Food Service Director

Category: Elementary News, High School News, Middle School News

About the Author ()

Keith Kaufman is the Director of Community Relations for Solanco School District. 786-5617.

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