New York State, in an attempt to aid families facing hunger insecurity due to school lunch program disruptions, issued emergency food stamps to 1.86 million children this summer.
While the majority of recipients use Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards regularly, 744,000 children who were part of the program do not. As a result, nearly $511 per child remains untouched, tallying to an estimated total between $120 million to $150 million in unused funds.
The issue stems from 2020, when the state dispersed special Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) cards enclosed in nondescript white envelopes. Many families may have inadvertently discarded these cards, not anticipating future allocations.
As of August 31, 123,910 cards from the most recent distribution remain unused. Families seeking replacement cards are urged to call the designated helpline and have until early next year to spend the allotted funds.
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