Jessica Cejnar / Wednesday, May 13 @ 5:33 p.m. / Education, Emergencies

Del Norte Parents Could Receive $365 in CalFresh Benefits Per Child During COVID-19 Pandemic

Crescent Elk Principal Paige Swan helped DNUSD staff deliver meals and curriculum early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the emergency began, the district has served more than 165,000 meals. Photo: Jessica Cejnar

Del Norte families may be eligible for extra support when it comes to ensuring their kids have enough to eat during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A special Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer card will provide parents whose youngsters are eligible for free and reduced meals with $365 per child in CalFresh benefits, said Deborah Kravitz, Del Norte Unified School District’s director of nutrition services.
Parents will be able to use the card to buy food at local grocery stores and online, Kravitz said during a DNUSD webinar Wednesday.

“I want to make sure it’s really clear this benefit is in addition to free meals we’re delivering on our buses and serving curbside,” Kravitz said, adding that it’s a one-time allowance. “Families do not have to make a choice between choosing to come and meet a bus. It is in addition to this.”

According to Kravitz, the California Department of Social Services and the California Department of Education’s Nutrition Services have been sending PEBT cards to families whose children are directly certified for free meals. This means they are already eligible for CalFresh benefits or receive assistance through CalWorks, the Food Distribution Indian Reservation Program or MediCal.

Homeless, runaway, migrant, Head Start and foster youth are also directly certified to receive P-EBT benefits, Kravitz said. Of the 4 million Californian children eligible for free and reduced price meals, half are directly certified, she said. It will take about two weeks for those families to receive their P-EBT cards, she said.

Parents whose youngsters aren’t directly certified, but are still eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals must apply for their P-EBT card if they haven’t received one by May 22. An online application will be available between May 22 and June 30 through

“The benefit is the same — $365 per child,” Kravitz said.

Parents with preschoolers can also request a P-EBT card, she said.
For parents who aren’t sure if their children are directly certified to receive free and reduced-price meals, Kravitz encouraged them to call her at (707) 464-6141. She said parents could also wait to see if a PEBT card arrives in the mail around May 22.

DNUSD staff have served between 165,000 and 170,000 meals since the Board of Trustees shuttered campuses March 16 due to the novel coronavirus.

This has included offering meals at individual campuses and deploying the district’s fleet of buses to bring meals and curriculum.

According to Kravitz, staff will be “doubling up on meals” for May 21 in order to give staff a four-day weekend for the Memorial Day holiday.


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