|EDUCATION, HEALTH OFFICIALS SECURE FEDERAL FUNDING TO HELP PROVIDE FOOD FOR FAMILIES IN NEED
Also today, Gov. Justice announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved West Virginia’s application for Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) cards to support child nutrition needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the direction of Governor Jim Justice, the joint request was recently submitted by the West Virginia Department of Education and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.The program is part of the CARES Act and delivers nutrition assistance on an EBT card that can be used to purchase groceries for families with school children who qualify for free or reduced price school meals. The EBT card holds the value of the free school breakfast and lunch reimbursement rates for the days that schools are closed.
More than 231,000 children in the Mountain State are eligible. It is estimated that more than $72 million in federal dollars will be coming to West Virginia households to be used in local grocery stores.
“We are grateful beyond belief to have this federal support to make sure our kids’ needs are being met during this pandemic,” Governor Justice said. “Making sure every single one of our kids in West Virginia has enough to eat is one of my top priorities. The minute we realized we had to shut down our schools, I went to work with our education leaders and put a plan in action that is now providing over 1 million meals a week to children statewide.”
“Since the start of this pandemic, the WVDE has worked with county school systems to ensure no child is forgotten and no family has the added stress of food insecurity,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools, W. Clayton Burch. “We are hopeful the addition of the P-EBT cards will be an added support for families, and are grateful for the continued combined efforts of our counties and partners.”
Superintendent Burch added that while the P-EBT card program will provide an additional resource to families impacted the hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, the State’s ongoing multi-agency effort currently providing 1.4 million meals a week to students across West Virginia will continue through the end of the scheduled school year in each respective county.
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