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Learn About Student Eligibility for the 2021-2022 School Year

May 18, 2021


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Whitehall CSD students who are certified for free or reduced-price school meals and are learning remotely will get Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) benefits for the 2020-2021 school year. P-EBT benefits can be used to buy food at stores that accept EBT.


We are waiting for more information, including details about which students will be eligible, and how and when families will receive P-EBT benefits. We will share that information when it is available. In the meantime, we want to provide information to make the process as easy as possible.


To avoid delays in getting your P-EBT benefits:


  • Be sure your child’s school has your correct mailing address on file.

  • Keep your P-EBT card if you received one during the first round of P-EBT.

  • If your family did not receive P-EBT last year, but you are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals now, submit a school meals application.

New to P-EBT? Even though all students can receive school breakfast and lunch for free this school year, only students who are certified for free or reduced-price school meals by the school district are potentially eligible for P-EBT. Families who are newly eligible for free or reduced-price school meals should fill out a school meals application to ensure they receive P-EBT benefits if their children are eligible. 

Who needs to turn in a free and reduced-price school meal application? 

  • Your household income meets the income guidelines for free or reduced-price school meals now, but you did not apply earlier this school year, or in the 2019-2020 school year.

  • Your child(ren) are new to the school district—including new kindergarten or pre-kindergarten students, and students who have moved to the area—and your household meets income guidelines for free or reduced-price school meals.

  • You have lost your job or have less income since last school year.

Who does not need to submit a new school meal application?

  • Your child(ren) received P-EBT for the last school year.

  • Your child(ren) received free or reduced-price school meals in the 2019-2020 school year.

  • One or more people in your household receive benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Other important details about P-EBT:

  • P-EBT does not take the place of school meals or other federal nutrition programs, including SNAP, WIC, summer meals, or meals in child care and afterschool programs.

  • Immigration status does not matter for P-EBT. Receiving or using P-EBT does not affect immigration status. The public charge test does not apply to P-EBT.

  • There is no application for P-EBT. Children who are certified for free or reduced-price meals and are learning remotely will receive benefits automatically. This includes all students learning remotely in CEP schools.

I need help with food. What other resources are available?

  • School Meals: School breakfast and lunch keep your child healthy, focused on school work, and help you save money. You can also get FREE grab-and-go school meals at any school, for all children in your household, not just enrolled students. WCSD is offering grab-and-go meal kits with milk at the High School on Mondays and Wednesdays from 7am to 9am.

  • SNAP: SNAP helps New Yorkers buy food. SNAP provides monthly benefits to spend at local grocery stores. We can help you apply for SNAP. Learn more.
  • WIC: WIC supports moms, moms-to-be, and kids under 5 with healthy food, breastfeeding support, nutrition advice, and referrals to other helpful services. Dads, grandparents, and other caregivers can apply for children in their care. Learn more.

  • Find Your Local Food Pantry.