The city of New Orleans is encouraging families of children who receive free or reduced price school meals to apply for the recently approved Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program. 

Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the program last week, adding that more than 600,000 Pre-K through 12th grade students across the state could be eligible for the $285 per child designed to defray the cost of groceries that has soared for many families as schools closed in mid-March in response to COVID-19.

The benefit amount works out to about $5.70 a day, the total cost of breakfast and lunch provided at school, for 50 days.

Families with one or more children who receive free or reduced priced school meals are eligible for P-EBT Eligible families can apply at

After eligibility is confirmed by the state Department of Education, the Department of Children and Family Services will issue qualifying families a P-EBT debit card that must be used within 365 days.

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