RIVERSIDE COUNTY, Calif.— For families that need extra help affording food due to financial struggles amid coronavirus, Riverside County announced Friday that it’s not too late to apply for the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer or P-EBT card.

P-EBT is an extra food benefit to help families buy groceries while schools are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but all applications for the assistance must be submitted electronically by July 15.

Any family with a child who is eligible for free or reduced-price school meals can apply online at ca.p-ebt.org. Families will receive up to $365 per eligible child on their card to use on food and groceries.

So far, there have been over 2,430,000 P-EBT cards issued in California, according to county officials.

In Riverside County, there are 130,000 students who qualify for this one-time food benefit, officials said.

“We are happy that many of our residents have been able to qualify for this program that provides nutritious food to families as we continue to battle COVID-19,” said Allison Gonzalez, assistant director of Self-Sufficiency for the Riverside County Department of Public Social Services. “We remain committed to see that all our eligible families benefit from healthy food and P-EBT makes it possible.”

P-EBT applications received between May 22 and July 15 will continue to be processed throughout the month of July to ensure that as many children as possible can qualify, according to the county.

State officials ask that families be patient given that a high volume of applications may have resulted in delays. Families should expect to receive notification about their final eligibility status by July 31. Those who have already applied but have a pending eligibility decision, need not apply again, officials said.

While the application period will be closing soon, the P-EBT helpline (833-780-0353) will stay open to help families until August. State officials advise families to not call the helpline for information on the status of their application since they will be sent an email notification when it has been received and another one when the P-EBT card is on the way.

In addition, there is an inquiry form available in multiple languages at https://inquiry.pebt.dss.ca.gov/. This form allows applicants to securely submit their case information so that inquires can be answered by email or phone.

Once an application has been approved, a family can expect to receive a P-EBT card in the mail to be activated by calling 877-328-9677. The card can be used at most grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and online at Amazon and Walmart, officials said.

This article originally appeared on the Banning-Beaumont Patch

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