Many students will receive P-EBT funds for 2020-2021 school year

Published 4:39 pm Friday, October 15, 2021

Parents of public school students in Mississippi who met certain requirements are beginning to receive food assistance payments from the Mississippi Department of Human Services and the Mississippi Department of Education.

MDHS and MDE have been authorized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) payments to eligible families for the 2020-2021 school year and Summer 2021. These benefits are intended to help families with additional food costs their household may have experienced due to school closures during the past school year.

Brookhaven School District Superintendent Dr. Rod Henderson called the program “a tremendous benefit to students who are eligible to receive it.”

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Around $246 million will be dispersed by late October, according to MDHS. About 345,000 students will qualify for the Summer 2021 benefit of $375 per child.

Only children who were eligible to receive free or reduced-price lunches under the National School Lunch Program are eligible to receive P-EBT benefits.

Benefits are calculated for each month of the school year based on the mode of learning used by the majority of student sin that child’s school during that month. For instance, if an eligible student was under a hybrid schedule for one month, he or she would receive $61.38. If the student was under a virtual-only schedule for one month, he or she would receive $122.76 for the month. If the child was enrolled in a school with a majority in-person learning schedule for the month, no benefit will be paid for that month.

All monthly amounts the child is eligible to receive will be added together and issued as a single lump-sum payment for the 2020-2021 school year. Each child will receive his or her own card with their name on it specifically for P-EBT.


Area schools

Students meeting the above requirements in the following area school districts will receive P-EBT cards.

Brookhaven School District

  • Alexander Junior High — Hybrid for 2 months = $122.76
  • Brookhaven Elementary — Hybrid for 2 months = $122.76
  • Brookhaven High — Hybrid for 3 months and virtual for 1 month = $306.90
  • Lipsey Middle — Hybrid for 2 months = $122.76
  • Mamie Martin — Hybrid for 1 month = $61.38


Lincoln County School District

  • All schools — Hybrid for 10 months = $613.80


Lawrence County School District

  • All schools — Hybrid for 9 months and virtual for 1 month = $675.18


Copiah County School District

  • Wesson Attendance Center — Hybrid for 1 month = $61.38
  • All Crystal Springs schools — Hybrid for 2 months = $122.76


Franklin County School District

  • Franklin County High — Hybrid for 6 months = $368.28
  • Franklin County Middle School — Hybrid for 6 months = $368.28
  • Franklin County Upper Elementary — Hybrid for 4 months = $245.52
  • Franklin County Lower Elementary — Hybrid for 4 months = $245.52


Not every public school district has students that qualify for the P-EBT payments. For example, the Newton County School District in East Central Mississippi had in-person schedules for the majority of its students each month of the school year. No student in the district qualifies for P-EBT. At least 32 additional districts have no students that qualify.

To find out if your student’s district or school will receive payments and how much, access the full list at

If a child’s address has changed since June 2021, the child’s parent or guardian should contact both the P-EBT hotline at 833-316-2423 and their child’s school district to ensure their address is up-to-date.

If a parent or guardian is unsure if their student qualifies for a P-EBT payment, they should call the P-EBT hotline.

Funds will expire one year from the card’s activation date. Based on USDA regulations, cards can be used to purchase food for the household such as, fruits and vegetables; dairy products; meats, poultry and fish; breads and cereals; snack foods; non-alcoholic beverages; seeds and plants which produce food for the household. Funds cannot be used to purchase alcoholic beverages or tobacco products; vitamins, medicines or supplements; live animals; foods that are hot at point-of-sale; or any non-food items.

Henderson said he hopes the P-EBT program will continue.

“It would be great if another round of funds would become available so that they could receive the benefit of the program once again.”


Do I qualify for P-EBT for the School Year 2020-2021?

  • Was my school closed for 5 days or did it have a delay in opening, reduced hours or attendance due to COVID-19?
  • Were most (51%) of the children at your school learning from home (virtual or hybrid) for the month?
  • Is your child eligible for free or reduced-price lunches?
    • If the answer is NO to any of these, your child is not eligible
  • Was your child completely learning from home (virtual)?
    • If yes, your child is eligible for $122.76.
  • Was your child learning from home part-time (hybrid)?
    • If yes, your child is eligible for $61.38.