For some, money for pandemic lunch program never came

TOLEDO (WTVG) - Some parents whose children receive free or reduced lunch at school say they’re still waiting for their Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer or (P-EBT) card to pay for food.

The Kentucky Food Benefits/ EBT Program (SNAP) has expanded services to allow SNAP recipients to grocery shop online in a new pilot program. Kentucky is one of ten states participating.

This is a program set up to provide funding for the meals they would have gotten at school before the COVID shutdown. The amount is $5.70 per child for each school day the student was eligible for free or reduced-price meals between March 17 and May 29. The benefit applies to students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

April and Mike Mason say their daughter Michelle goes to Toledo Public Schools and she qualifies for the free meals. But they say they have yet to receive the P-EBT card in the mail.

April says she’s called the Ohio Job and Family Services Department several times and waits several hours on hold and still hasn’t received any answers.

When 13abc called the number given to parents, we were put on hold for over 90 minutes with no answer at all. There was however a recorded message at the beginning of the call that said some checks were delayed and being sent out over the several days.

The number given to parents to call is 1-866-244-0071.