The Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee unanimously approved more than $800,000 of emergency funding on July 14 for a federal program that could provide nearly $300 in meal assistance to each Nevada child who missed out on their free and reduced priced lunches as a result of school closures.
The $848,624 in U.S. Department of Agriculture emergency funds used for the program are being allocated from money provided to Nevada by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) program was created as a part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act in March.
Officials announced on July 10 that Nevada had been approved for the program, joining 47 other states, Washington DC, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which all have previously been approved for participation.
According to the Department of Agriculture, approximately 64 percent of children in participating schools in Nevada were eligible for free and reduced-priced lunch during the 2019-2020 school year. Pandemic EBT will allow these 302,000 children and their families to use their government benefits to purchase food items at a variety of retailers such as grocery stores to make up for missed meals during school closures.
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