The Iowa Department of Human Services has announced a distribution plan for more than $76 million in federal food assistance benefits that will be mailed out to Iowa families who lost access to free and reduced price meal programs due to school closures this spring. Each of the 247,785 eligible children will receive a one-time payment of $307.80, the department said in a news release. Those households that received food assistance benefits at any time in April, May or June will receive the payment on the household’s EBT card on July 15. The remaining nonfood assistance households will receive Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) cards in the mail July 14-21. Eligibility was determined with a detailed match through the Department of Education and Iowa schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program. Iowa is one of the few states that did not require an application to receive these benefits. Any child who was an enrolled pre-K through grade 12 student in the 2019-20 school year in a public or non-public school that participates in the National School Lunch Program and received Free and Reduced Price School Meals as of March 16 was deemed eligible. A comprehensive FAQ document in English and Spanish, including eligibility information and images of the card and envelope, is available on the Iowa DHS website. 

Iowa Stops Hunger is a yearlong Business Publications Corp. initiative to bring awareness and action to food insecurity in Iowa.