On Friday, January 22, President Biden signed an executive order supporting (1) an increase in Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) for all children in public school by approximately 15% and (2) an expansion of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
- P-EBT Increase: P-EBT connects low-income families with food dollars equivalent to the value of the meals missed due to COVID-related school and childcare closures. To date, the program has capped P-EBT benefit amounts at $5.86 per child per school day and many households have had trouble claiming benefits. USDA will increase the daily benefit amount by approximately 15% to tackle the serious problem of child food insecurity during this school year. For more information on how to receive P-EBT in the State of Florida, click here.
- SNAP Benefits Expansion: Last spring, Congress passed emergency increases to SNAP benefits to help address food insecurity during the pandemic. But those benefit increases have not been made available to the lowest-income households who make up 37% of SNAP households. USDA will begin working with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to review its authority to allow states to provide extra SNAP benefits through Emergency Allotments to the lowest-income households.
Farmers to Families Food Box Program (CFAP)
On January 19, the USDA released a list of contractors for Round 5 of the Farmers to Families Food Box Program (Coronavirus Food Assistance Program – CFAP). Through this program, the USDA partners with national, regional and local for-profit distributors to purchase fresh produce, dairy and meat products from American producers. Distributors package these products into family-sized boxes, then transport them to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other nonprofits.
What does this mean for Feeding South Florida?
The state of Florida received an 800,000 box allocation, with a focus on distribution in rural communities. Two distributors in Florida received the contract. Feeding South Florida is receiving approximately 15 full trailer loads (FTLs) per week during Round 5 – down from nearly 160 in Round 1.