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Ohio will issue third round of credits for missed school lunches; more than $300 million distributed

Emily Bamforth, cleveland.com |

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently approved the use of Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfers, or P-EBT, through the end of the 2020-2021 school year. Through the two phases of the program thus far, one in the spring, and one in the fall, the state issued more than $300 million in credits to more than 1.3 million children affected by the pandemic.

The credits are meant to be used in conjunction with school food pick-up, and are available to students who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.

The next step for the third phase of the program is to redefine eligibility based on federal criteria. Officials from the state’s Department of Education and Department of Job and Family Services will then submit the plan to the Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, a JFS spokesman wrote in an email.

Schools will need to submit data for students to ensure benefits are received. The Department of Education encouraged making applications for free and reduced-price meals available immediately to make sure credits are distributed.

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