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Public school students eligible for federal food money

Sunday, May 24, 2020

The vast majority of students in Lincoln Parish public schools are eligible for federal aid designed to help pay for groceries in response to the coronavirus-induced school closures that defined the last two months of the academic year.

Louisiana was recently approved for the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program, which provides families with EBT cards with $285 in total benefits per child that can be used to buy food, functioning much like a SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) card.

Coming out of Congress’s Families First Coronavirus Response Act, this program is intended to help families with children that

Any student who normally qualifies for such meals is eligible for the P-EBT money. All families have to do is fill out the online application at

The application can also be found easily by searching “P-EBT Louisiana” in an online search engine.

Lincoln Parish Schools Superintendent Mike Milstead said the district has been sending out daily text messages to eligible families this week to make sure they know how to sign up for these benefits.

“Every family who goes to a school where they qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, they basically automatically qualify for the money,” Milstead said.

All the district’s public schools except Choudrant High School and Choudrant Elementary School provide free and reduced-price meals. Milstead said some Choudrant students could also be eligible and should apply.

He estimates at least 90% of public school students in the parish could receive the P-EBT aid.

The district continued to provide sack breakfasts and lunches via pickup while schools were closed — except for the week of the regularly scheduled spring break — but the total meals received was naturally not as high as if school had been in session.

“We are very pleased that our children will continue to have access to food with resources provided by the federal government,” Milstead said.

The deadline to apply is June 8 at 4:30 p.m. Those who apply by Monday afternoon should receive their card in the mail by June 4, while those who apply on the final day should receive their card by June 18.