California P-EBT Card Application Is Open

Grocery Shopping, Photo by Mehrad Vosoughi via

SAN FRANCISCO—On Monday, June 8, the San Francisco Human Services Agency (SFHSA) announced that the Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) application is open via Twitter. Families with children who have not received their P-EBT card and are eligible to apply, must apply before June 30, 2020. “P-EBT benefits” are the extra food benefits for children who are eligible to have free or reduced-price school meals due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a statement from the SFHSA, the benefits aim to help families in California with grocery shopping since schools are closed due to COVID-19. The families can use their P-EBT benefits for a year. It begins on the day when they received the P-EBT card. They will get up to $365 for each eligible child. The families can purchase food at most grocery stores and online at Amazon and Walmart. The P-EBT card cannot be used at restaurants or fast food stores.

Most families with children with CalFresh, Medi-Cal or Foster Care benefits should have received their P-EBT card in the mail by May 22. If the families did not get the card and do not apply for it by June 30, they will lose the opportunity to have the benefits. If they received a P-EBT card, but it did not cover benefits for all the qualified children, the families need to fill out an application for all the students in their household.

The new P-EBT cards need to be activated by calling the EBT Customer Service Center at 877-328-9677. Callers will be asked to provide certain information to activate the card and set a new PIN for their card.

The statement emphasizes that P-EBT benefits do not replace CalFresh or any other child nutrition program meals. The families will still be eligible for other food benefits even if they have P-EBT benefits.

For more details on P-EBT benefits, visit