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Around 189k Kansas children eligible for nearly $400 in school meal assistance

School Lunch
Posted at 1:31 PM, Dec 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-12 14:31:55-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — About 189,000 Kansas children are eligible for a one-time $391 benefit for free or reduced-priced meals at school, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly's office announced Monday.

A total of $56 million in food assistance is available to be distributed through the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Program from the Kansas Department for Children and Families and the Kansas State Department of Education.

The food assistance is provided on a Kansas Benefits Card. Each eligible school-aged child will receive a benefit.

Almost 80% of eligible children will be auto-issued their benefit from Dec. 12-24. The payments will be provided by last name.

All children who were eligible for free or reduced-price school meals during the 2020-21 school year are eligible, as are children who attended a Head Start program and were enrolled in a reduced-price meals program in the 2021-22 school year.

“Food insecurity should be the last thing Kansas children face right now, especially during the holiday season,” Kelly said in a written statement. “Thanks to the partnership of DCF and KSDE, the state will be able to expedite payments to many eligible families to help ensure they have food on the table over the winter break.”

To learn if your child is eligible to receive the benefit, you may take an eligibility assessment and apply for the program online.