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SALEM, OR (KPTV) - More than 350,000 children in Oregon will receive critical food assistance to replace the meals they would have received while at school, Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced Tuesday.

The assistance will come through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program. Oregon families with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals will receive the benefits.

Households will receive benefits equivalent to one free lunch and one free breakfast for each eligible child – $5.70 per normal school day for the months of March, April, May and June - according to the Department of Human Services.

“Every child in Oregon — regardless of the color of their skin, the town they live in, or where their parents work — deserves to go to bed with a full belly,” said Sen. Merkley. “Unfortunately, we have more work ahead of us to live up to that principle. I’m grateful that this funding will help bring us a step closer, and will keep fighting for the funding and resources we need to end hunger in Oregon once and for all.”

DHS says benefits will be retroactive to March 16 for students who received free and reduced-price meals when schools closed.

For newly eligible free or reduced-price meals or SNAP households, DHS says benefits will start at the beginning of the month they become eligible. Eligible families will receive the following for each child:

  • $69 for March
  • $126 in April
  • $120 in May
  • $69 in June

Oregon families who have experienced income loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic and may have become eligible for free or reduced-price school meals can apply online at or contact their school.

To apply for Nutrition Assistance, visit or call 2-1-1.

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.


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(1) comment


Retroactive? Wow..those two senators are just givin' it away! Ah well, Im sure most of it will be used to buy cold starbucks drinks for the summer.

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