The state of Idaho is participating in the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) Program, but it took some work to get to a path forward.
The P-EBT provides eligible families with a one-time payment for each child who previously received free or reduced-price meals at school. The Department of Health and Welfare does not administer the school lunch program. In order for Idaho to implement the P-EBT program, DHW and the Department of Education had to work out data share agreements to make sure data could be shared between the departments. Conversations between the two agencies started in earnest in early June. Because each individual school district owns the data for families eligible for the school lunch program, we worked together to ensure we were able to get all of the information in a format we could use from local public school districts to implement the program.
Now that the path forward has been determined, DHW and the Department of Education have submitted their plan to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for approval, and we have full confidence that our plan will be approved. When it is approved, we will get P-EBT payments to eligible families as soon as possible.
Idaho remains in Stage 4 of the Idaho Rebounds Plan for two more weeks
During Gov. Brad Little’s press conference on Thursday, he announced that Idaho would remain in Stage 4 for the next two weeks. Although we are staying in Stage 4, there is good news for Idahoans because:
- Idaho has sufficient healthcare workers, PPE, ventilators, and ICU beds, and we are meeting the demands for testing our healthcare workers statewide.
- The state has downward trends in overall case counts as well as our percent-positivity rate.
- Emergency room visits from those with COVID-like symptoms are declining.
Gov. Little added overall hospital admissions statewide to the list of metrics used to examine Idaho’s situation every two weeks and said those numbers need to be on a downward trend. He also noted that in some of the state’s hot spots, we are starting to see the benefits of the measures that local public health officials and mayors have put in place such as mask/cloth face covering orders or resolutions.Continue reading “There’s a path forward for families eligible for P-EBT program: An update from DHW Director Dave Jeppesen”