P-EBT California: Deadline to apply for free food for kids extended as state reports delays in processing applications

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Children who are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals now have until July 15 to apply for free food benefits worth up to $365 per child.

The families of three-million California children have already applied or received payments automatically, but another 800,000 are still eligible, according to Jason Montiel, spokesman for the state Department of Social Services.

RELATED: Online applications for free food for CA kids are now open

The one-time payment cards are labeled "P-EBT" which stands for Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer.

The department has been so overwhelmed with applications its website says: "There is a delay in processing applications due to the high volume of people who need help during the pandemic."

The original June 30 deadline is being extended to ensure all eligible families have an opportunity to apply. Approximately $1.1 billion has been made available to California children according to Montiel.

The P-EBT cards can be used to buy food only and are accepted at most grocery stores and farmer's markets.

Applications must be submitted online by July 15, 2020 here.

California's EBT customer service center phone line is (877) 328-9677. It is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Help is available in multiple languages.
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