During this crisis, Philabundance is working hard to distribute more food to people who need it. We are supporting additional distributions sites with the City of Philadelphia and working to push more food out to our agency network. Despite our best efforts, we still know that federal nutrition programs are the best way for people to get the food they want and need. As a result of the Families First Act, Congress made some changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to help give qualifying individuals additional benefits. Below is more information about two of those programs:

Supplemental SNAP: Any households already receiving SNAP might receive an increase in their benefits IF they are not already receiving the maximum allotment for their household size. When SNAP benefits are calculated both a household’s income and expenses are taken into consideration. Depending on that information, a household might not receive the maximum amount they could for the number of people on the application. This provision will allow those households who are below that maximum threshold to increase their benefits. For more information please see this flyer.

Pandemic EBT: Understanding that families are now having to feed their children at home when they would normally receive breakfast and lunch at school, Congress included a provision known as Pandemic-EBT in the Families First Act. Under this program, families who already qualified for free and reduced priced meals at their schools can receive that amount on an Electronic Benefits Card (EBT) to cover that additional cost. If you qualify, additional benefits will be added to a current SNAP EBT card, if the family participates in SNAP, or a new EBT card will be issued. The value of the reimbursement for a student receiving free breakfast and lunch is $5.70 per student per day. For more information about the Pandemic-EBT program please see this flyer.

Both of these programs will provide more resources to families to purchase food. For households who have questions about their SNAP benefits or need to apply for the program they can contact Benefits Data Trust at 833-373-5868 for Philadelphia and 833-373-5869 for outside of the city. People can also contact the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger’s SNAP Hotline at 215-430-0556 or visit their website.