Illinois Pandemic EBT Benefit Deadline Extended to August 31

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) launched the Pandemic EBT to provide nutritional resources to families who have lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to school closures. Families will receive money on a new or existing EBT card to help fill the school meals gap.

The deadline to apply for this benefit has been extended to Aug. 31, 2020.

Eligible Families

If your child receives free or reduced-price school meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), or your child attends a school that offers free school meals to all students, then you are eligible to receive P-EBT benefits. Families who have lost their job or wages may now be eligible. See:

Families that currently receive SNAP benefits do not need to apply for P-EBT benefits. These additional P-EBT benefits will be loaded into Illinois LINK EBT accounts along with regular SNAP benefits. Families who do not currently receive SNAP benefits but do have children who receive NSLP free or reduced-priced meals will need to apply directly with IDHS.

How to Apply

P-EBT Cheat SheetFamilies that want to apply have the option to:

  • Complete an online application at; or
  • Complete a paper application on the DHS website at and submit to the Central Scanning Unit (CSU); or
  • Send the application to the new email address created for this process: [email protected].

Please click the cheat sheet on this page for more details.

How Much Money Will an Individual Receive?

You will receive about $5.70 for each child, for each day that school is closed due to the pandemic. This adds up to $114 per child for four weeks.  P-EBT benefits supplement grab-and-go student meal sites. They do not replace them.

District 97 is currrently finalizing meal distribution plans for Trimester 1. We hope to share information with families soon.

Free/Reduced Lunch Application

We know that a common experience for many families during this health crisis is the loss of jobs and income. This change in income may qualify your children for free or reduced-price meals. We encourage all families who currently qualify to take a few minutes to complete the National School Lunch application as soon as possible.

There are four options for completing and submitting your application:

  1. Fill in the PDF application electronically and save it as a document on your computer. Email it as an attachment to the district's food service coordinator, Carla Ellis, at [email protected].
  2. Print the PDF and fill it out by hand. Take a picture of the completed application and email it as an attachment to [email protected].
  3. Print the PDF and fill it out by hand. Send the completed application via regular mail to:
    Carla Ellis
    Oak Park School District 97
    260 Madison St.
    Oak Park, IL 60302
  4. Print the PDF and fill it out by hand. Fax the completed application to 708-524-3019.