Pandemic funds will once again be working to make sure North Dakota's children don't go without meals over the summer.

North Dakota State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler and North Dakota Health and Human Services Commissioner Chris Jones announced that about 45,000 North Dakota children will be able to receive food assistance this summer.

The Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer, or P-EBT for short, will benefit two different groups: children ages 0-5 whose households receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) funds, and school-age children who are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals.

“Hunger doesn’t take a vacation,” Jones said. “We are pleased to again partner with the team in NDDPI to provide some financial relief and help meet the nutrition needs of thousands of North Dakota children and families impacted by inflated food prices.”

Here are the eligibility guidelines:

Children ages 0-5
Children ages 0-5 who are receiving SNAP benefits may receive up to $171 in additional benefits during the summer months. The benefit is based on the number of months a child received SNAP benefits between Sept. 1, 2022, and May 11, 2023.

The benefit will be deposited as a one-time lump sum on the household’s SNAP EBT card. Parents and guardians of children ages 0-5 who receive SNAP benefits do not have to apply.

School-age children
School-age children may receive a $120 P-EBT benefit on a specially issued card if they were eligible for the free or reduced-price meals during either the 2022-23 school year or the summer of 2023, and were enrolled in a school that participated in the National School Lunch Program at the end of the 2022-23 school year.

To receive the P-EBT benefit, parents or guardians of qualifying school-age children must apply online at by Aug. 21, 2023.

Completing the online application form is a new step this year and ensures that state benefit administrators have correct information. Parents who are unable to apply online can get a paper application at their child’s school or send a request to

Applications will be reviewed and approved by the Department of Public Instruction. EBT cards containing benefits for eligible school-age children will be mailed to the parent or guardian who applied for P-EBT benefits.

Families applying by mid-June could receive the benefits as early as mid-July. Families applying by late July would receive benefits in late August. Families applying after July, but before Aug. 21, can expect a benefit in late September 2023.

Families whose children are not presently eligible for free or reduced-price school meals may also apply for the meal program through their school before Aug. 25, 2023, to become eligible.

Families who have questions can email the P-EBT help desk at or call (701) 328-2732.

The P-EBT program is a partnership of the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction, North Dakota Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service. The funding was approved by Congress as part of COVID-19 pandemic relief legislation.

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