Pandemic EBT 3.0 Cards Have Been Delivered!

Published on Feb 6, 2023

And Summer Benefits Could Be Here To Stay! 

Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) 3.0 provides food benefits to school-aged children (TK-12) who are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals and who missed school days due to COVID-19. Young children (under 6 years old) who participate in CalFresh are also eligible. In addition, P-EBT provides summer benefits to all eligible children regardless if they missed school days or not. 

Who is eligible for P-EBT 3.0 benefits? 

Children under 6 years old

  • Under age 6 as of August 1, 2021.
  • AND part of a household receiving CalFresh food benefits between August 2021 through August 2022.

School-aged children (TK-12 grade)

  • Eligible for free or reduced-price meals during the school year 2021-22 or Summer 2022;
  • Enrolled in a school participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP)/School Breakfast Program (SBP) or a Provision school during School Year (SY) 2021-22;
  • AND did not attend school in person or had five or more excused absences in any month due to COVID-19 (this includes students enrolled in Independent Study, i.e., virtual learning).
  • To find out if your child is eligible fill out the survey

All eligible children will receive a Summer P-EBT standard benefit of $391 regardless if they missed school days or not. 

How can I apply for P-EBT 3.0 benefits?

  • Eligible families do not need to apply
  • A new P-EBT card will be mailed directly to families

When will our P-EBT 3.0 card arrive?

  • Young children: P-EBT cards were mailed in November 2022. 
  • School-aged children: P-EBT cards were mailed in January. 
  • If you have not received a card and believe your child is eligible, please call the helpline (877) 328-9677 or visit California’s official P-EBT website
  • If you have changed your mailing address since you received your last P-EBT card or if you need to request a change of address in order to receive your card, please call the P-EBT Helpline at (877) 328-9677 to make sure your card is mailed to the correct address. A Helpline representative can help you process a change in address. 

What is the P-EBT 3.0 benefit amount per child?

  • Young children receive an average of $45 per month for each month they received CalFresh benefits in School Year (SY) 21-22
  • School-age children’s P-EBT benefits are based on each child’s learning situation; students who missed 5 or more school days will receive $ 7.10 for each day they missed. 
  • All children eligible for P-EBT will receive Summer P-EBT 2022 benefits of $391.

What can I buy with the P-EBT card? Where and How?

  • P-EBT cards work just like CalFresh EBT to buy food. P-EBT cards are accepted at most grocery stores, farmers markets, and online at Amazon® or other retailers. 
  • Foods that are served hot or already prepared (like takeout or hot food bars) cannot be purchased. 
  • You cannot use your P-EBT card at restaurants.
  • When purchasing food, use your P-EBT card like a debit card:
    • Select “EBT “
    • Swipe the card
    • Enter your private PIN

Where can I get a replacement card?

If you lost your card, you can request a replacement by calling the helpline (877) 328-9677. Be ready to provide the name, birthdate, and school name of your child, as well as your current mailing address to send the card.

Do P-EBT 3.0 cards have an expiration date?

P-EBT cards expire one year from the date of the most recent transaction, or one year from the date it was issued if no transactions were made.

How do I get help with P-EBT?

If you have any questions or need assistance, contact the P-EBT Helpline at (877) 328-9677. You can get help with: 

  • PIN setup
  • Requesting  a replacement card
  • Reporting lost or stolen cards 
  • Requesting a change of address

Will getting P-EBT affect my family’s immigration status?

  • This benefit is available to all eligible children, regardless of immigration status. Receiving and using P-EBT benefits does NOT affect you or your child’s immigration status and does NOT make you a public charge. P-EBT is safe to use and the program does NOT report your information to immigration services.
  • It is safe to use P-EBT benefits.
  • Purchasing food with the P-EBT card does NOT affect you or your child’s immigration status or opportunities.
  • The program does NOT share your information with immigration services.

There have been several versions of the P-EBT program. A quick summary:

P-EBT 1.0 (2020)

In 2020, P-EBT 1.0 provided food benefits to more than 3.7 million school-aged children who lost access to school meals due to COVID-19 pandemic, delivering over $1.3 Billion in benefits (CDSS, P-EBT Outcomes Report, 2020)

P-EBT 2.0 (School Year 2020-2021 + Summer 2021)

P-EBT 2.0 provided over $6 billion in nutrition benefits in California, benefiting nearly 4 million eligible school-age children and close to 800K young children

However, according to the P-EBT 2.0 report, more than 500K P-EBT 2.0 cards were not activated. Unfortunately, after a year of no activity, benefits were removed. This means CA families did not receive food benefits for which their child was eligible.  

If you did NOT activate your child’s P-EBT 2.0 card and are interested in future opportunities to unlock those benefits, sign up for updates HERE, CDSS will send a letter to all eligible children with instructions on how to retrieve those benefits.

P-EBT 3.0 (School Year 2021-2022 + Summer 2022)

The State finished delivering P-EBT cards for all children see above for details.

P-EBT 4.0 (School Year 2022-2023 + Summer 2023)

The State of California is working on a plan to extend P-EBT benefits to all eligible children during the School Year (SY) 2022-2023. CDSS will be posting updates on their website. 

Please subscribe for updates by email alerts HERE.

Permanent Summer EBT Benefits!

The P-EBT program continues to evolve and President Biden signed The Omnibus bill in December 2022, creating a permanent Summer EBT program. California will need to submit a plan to request benefits that can benefit eligible California children. The new program can help fight the higher rates of food insecurity children experience during the summer by providing a monthly stipend to purchase food when school is out. Here is what we know today:

  • Benefits could start in the Summer of 2024 at $40 per child, per month (adjusted for inflation over time.)
  • Eligible Families will have up to 4 months to use their benefits.

We will continue to share updates as we learn more from state and federal administrators about the Summer EBT program. 

Note: We strongly encourage families to fill out school meal applications or income verification forms and submit them to the child’s school.  This could help determine your child’s eligibility for P-EBT and Summer EBT.

You can apply for CalFresh Food benefits at 

Visit the official California P-EBT Webpage for more information or call the support Help line at (877) 328-9677.

Questions? Contact Angeles Nelson at


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