New Pandemic Food Resource Available for Families With School-aged Children

By United Way of King County, on August 4, 2020 | In Breaking the Cycle of Poverty, News, Racial Equity

Everyone deserves access to healthy food. But, since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, more families in our community have struggled to put food on the table.

A new federal program can help. This summer, families in Washington can get help buying groceries through a program called Pandemic EBT. Pandemic EBT provides families with a one-time food benefit—up to $399 per child—that can be used at grocery stores and farmers markets.  

There are two ways to get Pandemic EBT:

  • Families who receive Basic Food (SNAP) benefits: Pandemic EBT benefits were added to the EBT card you already use. If you did not receive extra food benefits in early July, contact the Washington Department of Social and Health Services.
  • Families who do not receive Basic Food (SNAP) benefits: Any family with a child in grades K-12 who was eligible for free or reduced-price school meals last year is eligible to receive Pandemic EBT, but must complete a simple application through DSHS. Pandemic EBT is available for all students, regardless of citizenship or immigration status. It is not considered a public charge.

Families can apply for Pandemic EBT until August 31. Interested in applying? Here’s how:

  1. Visit and click “Apply Now.” On the application, under “Your Needs,” select Pandemic EBT.
  2. The application will ask for your name and the names of anyone else living in your household. Include all the children in your household who are eligible for Pandemic EBT.
    1. Enter each child’s name with the same spelling that you used when registering them for school, including hyphens or multiple last names.
    1. The application will ask for your Social Security number. This can help DSHS process your application faster but is not required. If you are not comfortable providing your Social Security number, leave the field blank.
  3. Provide your contact information and the address where you would like your Pandemic EBT card to be mailed. It may take up to 30 days for your application to be processed. If approved, you will receive a Pandemic EBT card loaded with your food benefits in the mail. If rejected, you will be contacted by DSHS.

Need help with your application? Call 2-1-1 and ask for help with a “Pandemic EBT application.”


All comments are approved before they are posted to the site.