Tens of thousands of children could miss out on healthy food if their families don’t apply for Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer, also referred to as P-EBT, benefits by July 31. About 350,000 Minnesota school children who qualify for the federal free and reduced price meal program are eligible to receive $325 per child with an additional $100 per child for Summer P-EBT.

20 counties have particularly low participation rates, according to data released Tuesday by the Minnesota Department of Human Services. One of those is Big Stone County, which has an estimated 37 percent of children still eligible for the program who have not applied for it. Out of 346 free and reduced meal participants in the county, only 219 children have applied for the summer benefit, leaving 127 still eligible.

Otter Tail County also has 37 percent of its eligible children yet to apply.

Contact the P-EBT Hotline for assistance at 800-657-3698.

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