FCPS Families with Children Eligible for Free and Reduced-Price Meals Can Receive Temporary Food Assistance from the Virginia Department of Social Services

News Release
May 11, 2020

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) families whose children are eligible for the federal free and reduced-price meal program can receive temporary food assistance from the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS). Families will receive a P-EBT (Pandemic Electronic Bank Transfer) for temporary food assistance to cover the cost of meals missed while schools are closed.

Eligible Virginia households include those with children who receive free or reduced-price meals (FRM) as well as students enrolled in schools that provide free meals to all students through the Community Eligibility Provision. Children who would receive free or reduced-price meals under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, if not for the school closure, are eligible under this provision.

FCPS has submitted the names of families currently eligible for FRM to the VDSS; currently eligible families do not need to apply or fill out additional forms to receive the funds. Families are not required to be current SNAP recipients to qualify for P-EBT benefits. 

Families that are not currently eligible for free and reduced-price meals can apply for that program by June 11. VDOE and VDSS ultimately approve eligibility and issue the benefit. 

VDSS is working with the Virginia Department of Education to ensure that families currently receiving SNAP benefits will have funds loaded onto their EBT cards within the next two weeks. Families who do not receive SNAP benefits will receive an EBT card in the mail in the next 4-6 weeks.

Data gathered by the state indicates that the meal sites operated by school districts during extended school closures only serve half as many breakfasts and one-third the number of lunches compared to a typical school day. The P-EBT program will provide critical food assistance to families so that children in Virginia do not go hungry during the COVID-19 crisis.

Families are encouraged to visit the Virginia P-EBT site to learn more. FCPS families can also contact the Office of Food and Nutrition Services at 703-813-4800.