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Pandemic EBT: Food Benefits for Children

Permanent Summer EBT Program

DHS is working to develop a permanent Summer EBT program to ensure that students have additional food benefits during summer months. This page will be updated when information on the program becomes available. 

Food benefits for students whose learning was affected by COVID-19

The Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) program was a federal program that provided food benefits to the families of children who experienced greater need because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Between March 2020 and September 2023, DHS successfully implemented three kinds of P-EBT programs: School P-EBT, Pre-6 P-EBT, and Summer P-EBT.

School P-EBT

The School P-EBT program provides benefits for children who cannot get free or reduced price meals at school for COVID-19-related reasons. This includes if a child was absent because of COVID-19-related reasons or was learning from home.

Summer P-EBT

The Summer P-EBT program provided temporary food benefits to eligible students during summer months.

Pre-6 P-EBT

The Pre-6 P-EBT program provided temporary food benefits to families with children under the age of six who receive FoodShare but were not enrolled in school for the applicable school year.

DHS prepared yearly plans for each of these P-EBT programs with the support of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF). The plans detailed who was eligible and how the issuance of benefits to school-age children and non-school-age children would take place. DHS was consistently one of the first states to have their plans approved by the federal government each year.

Download Wisconsin’s most recent plan from the 2022-2023 School Year (PDF). 

Using benefits

Benefits were added to an existing QUEST or P-EBT card. If families did not have a QUEST or P-EBT card, benefits were added onto a new P-EBT card and mailed to their address on file.

Even though P-EBT benefits are no longer being issued by DHS, P-EBT benefits can continue to be used wherever FoodShare benefits are accepted. This includes grocery stores, convenience stores, farmers markets, and some online retailers. You can use the benefits to buy certain food items, including:

  • Bread and cereals
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Meat, fish, and poultry
  • Dairy products
  • Snack foods

See a detailed list of items you can and cannot buy with your benefits.

We recommend using your card at least once every few months. If you do not use the card for nine months, any benefits that have been on your account for more than nine months will be removed.

To check the balance on your card, go to the ebtEDGE website or use the ebtEDGE mobile app. If you lose your card, call QUEST Card Service at 877-415-5164.

Please remember that you cannot give your card to someone else. It is illegal to sell, trade, or give your School P-EBT benefits to another person.

Last revised November 3, 2023