Food Benefits for Young Children in FoodShare Families
Note: The information on this page is for the 2020-2021 Pre-6 P-EBT Program.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has notified states that they are not reviewing Pre-6 P-EBT plans for 2021-2022 at this time.
This page will be updated when more information is available.
Pre-6 Pandemic EBT (Pre-6 P-EBT) is a program that provides benefits for families in FoodShare to buy food for their children under the age of 6 who are not enrolled in school. These young children may have been at home more because child care facilities were closed or had reduced in-person capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Pre-6 P-EBT was designed to specifically assist families who received FoodShare for part or all of the school year.
There is no application for Pre-6 P-EBT. Your child is eligible to receive Pre-6 P-EBT benefits in a given month of the 2020-2021 school year if:
- Your child was under 6 as of October 1, 2020.
- Your household received FoodShare benefits in that month.
- The school-age children in your region were learning from home part-time or full-time in that month, as reported by their schools.
- Your child is not eligible for the 2020-2021 school-age P-EBT program.
You will only receive Pre-6 P-EBT benefits for months your family was receiving FoodShare. Your child does not have to be enrolled in child care.
If your child is under 6, but is enrolled in free or reduced price meals at a K-12 school, they are eligible to receive school-age P-EBT and will not receive Pre-6 P-EBT. Please see the school-age P-EBT webpage for more information on this program. If you have one child who is eligible for Pre-6 P-EBT and another child who is eligible for school-age P-EBT, your family can receive both kinds of benefits.
If your family is eligible for Pre-6 P-EBT, you will receive a letter that will tell you if you will receive Pre-6 P-EBT, and if so, how much for each month. The first letter you get will cover the months of October through December 2020.
Benefits will be loaded directly onto your QUEST card.
Benefits are calculated based on information submitted by K-12 schools in each region of the state about how often their students were learning from home in each month. Although amounts may be different from month to month, all children in the same region who are eligible to receive benefits in a given month will get the same amount.
There are three levels of benefits:
- If you live in a region where the majority of school-age children learned from home (virtual learning) all the time in a month, you will receive the maximum Pre-6 P-EBT benefit amount for that month.
- If you live in a region where the majority of school-age children learned from home (virtual learning) part-time in a month, you will receive a partial Pre-6 P-EBT benefit amount for that month.
- If you live in a region where the majority of school-age children learned in-person in a month, you will receive no Pre-6 P-EBT benefits for that month.
Pre-6 P-EBT benefits must be used within one year of the date they are put on the QUEST card, and they can be used in any store that accepts FoodShare, like major grocery chains and convenience stores. You can use the benefits to buy food, including:
- Breads and cereals
- Fruits and vegetables
- Meat, fish, and poultry
- Dairy products
- Snack foods
- See a more detailed list of items you can and cannot buy with these benefits.
If you have questions, contact us through our support email or call line.