There are reports from the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance, not all of the eligible summer P-EBT payments were processed. The P-EBT is designated as a federal child nutrition program that was developed during the COVID-19 pandemic to increase food security for students. Eligible families were able to receive free or reduced-price school meals through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National School Lunch Program.

The Washington Post // Getty Images
The Washington Post // Getty Images
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Students from kindergarten and 12th grade were eligible for The Summer P-EBT Program if they received benefits during the school year or their families are enrolled in SNAP, TANF, eligible categories of Medicaid, or if the school they are attending is participating in a specific program for high-need areas.

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As of July 25th, DTA issued over $51 million to approximately 430,000 eligible youngsters. Families that qualified were issued $120 per student for the Summer P-EBT payment. However, there were some instances where mandatory payments were not processed to eligible families.

Schoolboy holding plate of lunch in school cafeteria smiling at camera
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In a recent interview with 22News (WWLP-TV) Health and Human Services spokesperson Cecille Avila reiterated that a number of school districts did not share a  file that contained their eligible students, and because of this move, they were not included in the July 25th issuance.

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Ben-Schonewille
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Avila added the process requires collaboration between school districts, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the DTA. as they had to issue the payments, school districts have to file an accurate number of eligible students with DESE.

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Estimates show that 475,000 school-age children and their families were eligible to participate in this program, therefore the department will issue past due Summer P-EBT payments on September 25th for any late files that are received by no later than September 10th. For reasons unknown, the recent 2022-2023 school year is the last to benefit from this program as the situation has warranted attention at the State House in Boston. We'll keep you posted on the latest developments.

(Some information obtained in this article courtesy of WWLP-TV)

(Featured image photo courtesy of www.map.ebt.org)

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