During his Tuesday afternoon press conference, Governor Mike DeWine announced that the United States Department of Agriculture has approved a Pandemic EBT plan for Ohio, aimed at helping families secure healthy meals for children who relied on school-provided lunch programs.
The Pandemic EBT program will provide families with around $300 for use in purchasing healthy and nutritious food to feed children in their homes.
The program was first included in DeWine's Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020, but has only now been approved federally for roll-out.
The approval will allow the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to distribute SNAP benefits for families of students across the state who relied on free or reduced meal programs from their schools. The benefits will be mailed directly to the students themselves and families don't need to apply for the program to be eligible.
The benefits will provide more than $250 million for eligible retailers and grocery stores as families use the funds to purchase groceries, DeWine said.