By Grace Mersch
March 5, 2021
Families in Norwood began receiving pandemic-electronic benefit transfer (P-EBT) cards in the mail on Feb. 23. This comes after the state revised a law in October to allow students who attend school on a hybrid schedule to receive these cards.
These cards are similar to a stimulus check in that every student who attends Norwood City School district will receive a card of around $250, so a family with more than one student will receive more.
This news came without warning for many, and many families who don’t qualify for food assistance benefits were confused when they received these cards in the mail.
Because of the Community Eligibility Provision of the National School Lunch Program, Norwood City School district qualifies for each student in the district to receive free or reduced-price lunch. Under the provision, an entire school district qualifies if over 40 percent of the students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, even if the other 60 percent do not qualify. This is another thing that changed with the revision of the law, since the school district did not qualify previously.
Students receive $6.32 for each day they do not physically attend school, so for hybrid students, they receive this amount three days a week. Fully virtual students receive $6.32 five days a week.
What families received in the mail last week was the full amount for August through November. December benefits were issued this week. January benefits will be issued by the end of March, February benefits will be issued by the end of April and March benefits will be issued by the end of May, so it’s important to keep these cards until then.
The benefits will end once the school district returns to full in-person instruction, so the last day to receive money will be March 19. Virtual students will continue receiving benefits until the end of the school year.
Along with these food assistance cards being issued to families, students can still take advantage of free breakfast and lunch being provided by the schools until the end of the school year.