ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Eleven schools in Rapides Parish will serve as feeding sites this summer starting on June 1.
But families of students are now applying for a new program that can help them keep food on the tables. It's called the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer, or P-EBT, Program. It works like a standard EBT card with the same guidelines. There are only two qualifications needed for this assistance: a child receiving free or reduced-price meals at school.
Louisiana State Senator Katrina Jackson for District 34 has played a part in getting this program up and running. And she says that she's received feedback about the program from those who are for and against it.
Along with some asking "Why is this necessary?". Jackson answers that by simply saying "Because we have children that generally will go hungry".
She says that a number of parents weren't financially prepared to go through something like COVID-19 and everything it's caused.
"Then on top of that parents either lost their jobs or began to work less hours," said Jackson.
To receive benefits, families need to apply online. That application can be accessed through the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services website. The website warns applicants that a large number of people are trying to access the application, so they may experience problems and need to be patient. Applications will be taken until June 8. Families will receive $285 in benefits per child. Those benefits will roll over month to month, but have to be used within 365 days.
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