Pandemic EBT: Help for Families with Children Impacted by School Closures

Pandemic EBT (or P-EBT) is a temporary benefit for many families with children who have been impacted by school closures during the pandemic. For the 2020-21 school year, households with students who typically receive free or reduced-price meals and whose school schedule has been hybrid or remote can receive funds to stretch their food budget at home!

P-EBT benefits are meant to replace the value of free school meals that students would have received had they been at school. The benefits are not available for months when a student’s learning model was 100% “in-person” because they had access to meals at school. Partial benefits will be provided for months when students attended school in a hybrid learning model.

In addition to the learning model, eligibility for benefits also depends on a child’s eligibility for free and reduced school meals. All students are able to receive free meals this year due to special COVID-19 waivers. However, to receive the P-EBT benefit students must either have an approved free and reduced meal application on file or have been directly certified. Students may be directly certified for free meals if the household receives 3SquaresVT or Reach Up benefits or because the student is state-placed foster, migrant, homeless, runaway or participants in a Head Start Program. For additional information, please see the Vermont Agency of Education’s list of Frequently Asked Questions about the P-EBT.

Households already enrolled in 3SquaresVT will have benefits loaded on their existing card, other households will be mailed a special P-EBT card. This card is similar to a debit card and can be used anywhere that EBT is accepted- including most grocery stores and many farmers’ markets!

Not enrolled in 3SquaresVT? 3SquaresVT is a monthly benefit that can help income eligible households buy the foods they need, when they need them! It can be used at grocery stores, convenience stores, co-ops and participating farmers’ markets. Benefits are given to you each month on an EBT (electronic benefits transfer) card, which works like a debit card. Even if you’ve never been eligible for 3SquaresVT before, please know there are resources available to you. To learn more visit, the 3SVT webpage. You can also call our helpline at 1-855-855-6181, or text ‘VFBSNAP’ to 855-11. You can also email us at

Could you benefit from a reduced internet bill? If you receive 3SquaresVT then you may qualify for Comcast’s Internet Essentials program! This program offers 50 Mbps downstream and 5 Mbps for $9.95 a month, plus tax. If you are a new customer and you apply and are approved by June 30th 2021 then you will receive the first two months FREE! After the promotion, you can either cancel the service (which you can do at any time) or keep it as a regular paying Internet Essentials customer for $9.95 a month plus tax. Because there is no contract, a customer can disconnect their Internet Essentials service at any time without penalty.