UPDATE: The deadline has been extended to July 31. Read the previous story below.

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) says thousands of families may still be eligible to apply for additional benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

According to the DHS, 200,000 families have already applied for, or received, benefits under a limited-time program that ensures children don’t go hungry while not in school and not receiving school lunch.

That program is called the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT), where DHS issues a lump sum of $325 per child to purchase food within a year of the date issued.

The deadline for applications is June 30 and, according to the DHS, there are up to 150,000 more families that may be eligible. They are encouraged to apply before the deadline.

“Many families struggle with feeding their children in the summer, when they are not receiving free or reduced-price lunches at school,” said Human Services Commissioner Jodi Harpstead. “Supplementing families’ food budgets by providing additional help to purchase healthy foods for school children is the aim of this program.”

Many families have already received the funds automatically on their existing EBT cards. The DHS says families who were receiving free or reduced meals for 2019-2020 school year — but were not receiving SNAP or Minnesota Family Investment Program benefits — need to sign up for the P-EBT card to receive the additional funds.

More information is available at MN.P-EBT.org.

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