State to issue $71 million in P-EBT food benefits for 78,500 New Mexico children under the age of six

State to issue $71 million in P-EBT food benefits for 78,500 New Mexico children under the age of six

SANTA FE – New Mexico families will receive more than $71 million in additional food benefits, enough to feed nearly 78,500 vulnerable children. The New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD) in collaboration with the Early Childhood Education and Care Department (ECECD) will issue P-EBT benefits for children, under of the age of six, who were a member of a household that received food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) at any time since Oct. 1, 2020, and/or is enrolled in a licenced or registered child care facility covered in the federal program. This benefit will be issued on Oct. 24, 2021.

 “These benefits are critical to many New Mexico families and will continue to provide much needed nutritional assistance,” said Angela Medrano, HSD Deputy Secretary. “We are grateful for the additional federal funding which makes an enormous difference in the lives of the families receiving these benefits.”

 Children eligible for free or reduced-price school meals have been able to take advantage of additional food benefits through the P-EBT program. These children who were previously eligible had to be school aged and eligible for free and reduced lunch though the National School Lunch Program. Now, for the first time, many of New Mexico’s youngest children may be eligible for food benefits through the new P-EBT child care program. 

 “When young children experience hunger and food insecurity, it can negatively affect their growth and development in ways that have lifelong consequences,” said ECECD Cabinet Secretary Elizabeth Groginsky. “Getting these P-EBT cards into the hands of families with young children will ensure that our state’s youngest learners have access to the nutrition they need to grow and thrive.” 

 HSD and ECECD used the physical address for the child’s SNAP household to determine the child’s county of residence. The average days of remote learning for the county’s school district are the number of days the child will be eligible for benefits. The amount is $6.82 per day per child. Families with more than one child under age six will receive a benefit for each child. Parents do not need to take any action for their children to receive this benefit. 

 “The P-EBT benefit helped my family immensely. During COVID both my husband and I were – and continue to be – essential workers-however the pandemic did affect us financially,” said a P-EBT recipient from Santa Fe. “Having P-EBT meant having groceries which was one less thing to stress about during this already stressful time.”

HSD will issue new P-EBT cards to only those children eligible for the P-EBT child care assistance and who do not already have an older sibling on the school aged P-EBT with the same address and guardian. These new issued cards are due to be mailed out by Nov. 15, 2021. If there is more than one child ages 0 through 5 in a household, the card will be mailed to the oldest child and all the eligible benefits will go onto that card. If there are any questions regarding the P-EBT card received, contact FIS (P-EBT card vendor) directly at 1-800-843-8303. 

For additional questions about your child’s eligibility for P-EBT child care assistance you can contact the P-EBT hotline at 1-833-415-0569.

The Human Services Department provides services and benefits to 1,042,799 New Mexicans through several programs including: the Medicaid Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Child Support Program and several Behavioral Health Services.