DHS: Up to 150K Minnesota families eligible for food benefits; deadline is June 30

The Minnesota Department of Human Services says up to 150,000 Minnesota families may still be eligible to apply for additional food benefits under a limited-time program aiming to ensure children don't go hungry when they're not in school.

That's on top of the more than 200,000 families that have already applied.

The deadline to apply for the benefits is June 30.

"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. We urge families to take advantage of this opportunity by applying for the benefit by the June 30 deadline."

Families with children who qualify for free or reduced meals can apply for Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer here. Those in need of assistance can contact the DHS P-EBT hotline at either 651-431-4050 or 800-657-3698, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or find more information here.

"With the economic pressures of the pandemic, families are having a more difficult time than ever before," said Education Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker. "The P-EBT program can help families purchase groceries to bridge that gap between the school year and the summer months. With the deadline fast approaching, we are urging families to apply for this additional support as soon as possible."