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Illinois to provide more nutrition benefits for children

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SPRINGFIELD (WSIL) - The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced Monday that the state has been approved to provide approximately 316,000 Illinois households with additional SNAP benefits.

The USDA authorized and will fund Illinois’ Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program. The program will provide food benefits to all school-aged children who are eligible for free or reduced meals.

The benefit will be issued to all SNAP households with school-aged children and will automatically be added to family Link cards.

Those who are eligible for the additional benefits will start receiving them April 20 - April 30.

“No child should ever have to worry about where their next meal is coming from, especially during a public health emergency,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Expanding SNAP benefits for children who are home from school will help more families stay safe and healthy.”

The Pandemic EBT program will provide SNAP households in Illinois with roughly $112 million in additional benefits for their children.

According to IDHS, the benefits are calculated using a $5.70 per day and per student calculation.

Illinois will be issuing the benefits based on a total of 10 missed school days in March and 22 missed school days in April. May benefits will also be issued in the month of May.

“We are constantly looking for ways to provide extra support for Illinois residents during this extremely difficult time,” said IDHS Secretary Grace B. Hou. “IDHS has and will continue to apply for waivers that provide additional food assistance for children and families in our state. This waiver was so important for us to secure and we are happy to announce them.”

Households with school-aged children who are eligible for free or reduced meals when school is in session, but do not currently receive SNAP benefits, may submit a simplified application for P-EBT benefits as early as next week, using the ABE.Illinois.gov online portal or by completing a paper application available at the IDHS website.

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