Scott Applauds USDA Plan to Provide Emergency EBT Assistance for Low-Income Virginians

May 11, 2020
Press Release

NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Today, Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently approved Virginia’s plan to begin implementing the Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) program, which provides emergency food assistance to students in low-income families in the event of prolonged school closures.

The P-EBT program was created by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201), which was the second COVID-19 emergency legislative package enacted by Congress on March 18, 2020. The proposal to create the program was first introduced on March 11 by Reps. Bobby Scott and Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11), Chair of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition, Oversight and Department Operations.

“I am pleased that Virginia is successfully using the newly established Pandemic EBT program to provide critical food assistance for our communities,” said Congressman Scott. “Public health emergencies are particularly dangerous for low-income families that are already struggling to cover the cost of basic essentials. The P-EBT is a necessary program that ensures school closures do not prevent students from accessing nutritious food. As the pandemic continues, I urge USDA to continue approving state plans to ensure families across the country are supported in the coming months.” 

Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201), the Secretary of Agriculture may approve state plans to provide emergency food assistance to families with children who would be receiving free or reduced-price school meals if not for school closures.

Starting May 11, the Virginia Department of Social Services will begin automatically uploading Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to recipients’ EBT cards.

To read more about the Pandemic EBT Program, click here.