Govenor Roy Cooper announced Monday the state has been approved for a new program that will ensure the families of more than 800,000 children eligible for free or reduced-price school lunches have enough to eat.

North Carolina is one of four states to receive funding from the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program, which will give up to $250 per child to families that already receive free to reduce-price lunches.

“So many families are in need, especially with so many out of work right now. This approval helps people get assistance faster to feed their families,” Cooper said in a press statement Monday. 

Families that are registered for state food stamp programs won’t even have to apply—they’ll just get the benefit automatically. Those that aren’t already enrolled will receive an EBT card in  the mail with instructions in the upcoming weeks. 

If the state shutdown is extended beyond May 15, families may receive additional benefits. 

In a press conference Mandy Cohen, secretary for the state Department of Health and Human Services, said the state has already served more than 11 million meals to kids statewide through 1,000 pick-up sites. 

“The good news is families will now have even more help,” Cohen said. 

Learn more about the program and see if you qualify here. 

Contact Raleigh editor Leigh Tauss at

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