FORT MYERS, Fla. — Families of students who are eligible for free or reduced lunch at school should have received an EBT card with hundreds of dollars in benefits from the state this month.
The Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer card or P-EBT was mailed directly home to students.
The program came about in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic to help parents feed their children who usually eat free breakfast and lunch at school.
Parents who received the card say that it came in a non-descript envelope addressed to the student.
Students in Lee County Public Schools are automatically enrolled in the P-EBT program and do not have to fill out any additional
forms to receive benefits.
Each child in the program will receive $5.70 per day for 55 days that is pre-loaded onto the card.
The card is similar to SNAP or food stamp benefits and allows parents to purchase staple items like breads, cereals, fruit, vegetables, meats and dairy products at grocery stores.
Non-food items such as household supplies, medicines, paper products, alcoholic beverages, or tobacco products can not be purchased with the card.
"A lot of people that lost their jobs in March and April are perhaps working again but they still have bills that might not have gotten paid," says Rob Spicker, Lee County School District - Media Relations. "This is now free grocery money that can then allow them to spend other income on those bills to catch up."
One Lee County parent says she hasn't received her child's benefits.
"I heard about it but I did not receive it yet," says Erika Cruz.
"I have two kids, it's going to be great but I did not receive it yet."
The Florida Department of Children and Families says eligible students who have not received their cards in the mail by tomorrow, June 30, should reach out by calling the department’s helpline at 1-833-311-0321.