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Children, who currently receiving free or reduced-price meals through their school, will be eligible to receive food benefits while schools are closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS).

DHS this week announced that the state has received federal government permission to issue Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) benefits for March through June. The benefits will be issued in a phased approach using benefits information on file for children receiving free or reduced-price meals. If information is not available through existing data, parents and guardians will be able to use a streamlined application process starting in early May.

The first of the benefits for March and April combined will be $176.70 per eligible child. Those benefits will be issued the week of April 27 via an existing QUEST card to people already enrolled in the FoodShare program. People not enrolled in FoodShare but enrolled in other public benefit programs can expect to see the combined March/April benefits delivered on May 10.

FoodShare members will receive a letter explaining the new P-EBT benefit in the near future.

The May and June combined benefits will be $148.20 per eligible child and be distributed at the end of May. Benefits must be used within one year of being issued. People receiving benefits may check the balance on their cards using the ebtEDGE website or the ebtEDGE mobile app.

To learn more about state-issued emergency food benefits related to COVID-19, click here.

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In addition to our education features, we’ll be kicking off a series of stories highlighting how parents, students, and educators are adapting to the impact of COVID-19 on education. If this is important to you, please consider donating to our education reporting fund. https://business.facebook.com/donate/1846323118855149/3262802717172659/

Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...