WASHINGTON – Michigan is the first state approved to operate the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) program amid the rapidly evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Thursday.
The Pandemic EBT program will provide assistance to families with children that are eligible for free or reduced-price meals amid the state’s school closures, officials said.
The program is meant to offset the cost of meals that would have otherwise been consumed at school.
The USDA reports that nearly 750,000 children in Michigan were eligible for free- and reduced-priced lunch for the 2019-2020 school year.
The USDA says the new program was authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Act (FFCRA) that was signed by U.S. President Donald Trump.