How Illinois Families Can Get Additional Food Assistance

Illinois is currently operating Pandemic EBT (“P-EBT”), a supplemental food purchasing benefit to households with children receiving free or reduced price meals at school. P-EBT provides an EBT card that can be used at authorized retailers to offset the cost of meals that would have otherwise been consumed at school.

P-EBT provides the value of school meals at the free rate for each eligible child in the household, or a total of $5.70 per child per school day. P-EBT will provide benefits for 21 days in May for a total of $119.70 per school-aged child for May. Households that apply and are approved anytime in May will receive benefits retroactive to the beginning of the month. P-EBT will also be available in June.

  • Current SNAP participants are automatically eligible for P-EBT and should see the benefit increase on their LINK card.
  • Households with children enrolled in free or reduced-price school meals, or with a child attending a school that provides all meals for free, can apply directly for P-EBT.
  • Households at or below 185% of the federal poverty guideline but who are not receiving SNAP or free or reduced-price school meals should first call their child’s school to enroll in free or reduced-price meals and then apply for P-EBT.

To apply clients should visit or download a paper application at and email it to or mail it to Central Scan Unit, PO Box 19138, Springfield, IL 62763.

Click here to view the P-EBT Guide to Eligibility for Parents with School-Age Children