The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services has launched a hotline to assist families using the Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) program.

P-EBT is meant to help families pay for breakfasts and lunches for children who are eligible for free and reduced lunches, but their school or child care facility is closed due to COVID-19, according to a press release from DHS.

Those experiencing issues with their benefits can contact 484-363-2137 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“The P-EBT program has been a lifeline to Pennsylvania families with children affected by school closure throughout the pandemic, and I understand that delays in receiving this benefit have created challenges,” said Acting DHS Secretary Meg Snead. “We are quickly working to reissue lost or missing cards, and we hope this hotline will help parents resolve card issues with greater ease.”

According to the press release, more than 757,000 P-EBT cards have been activated, and DHS has received 30,000 requests to reissue cards that were either lost or never delivered.

DHS warns that there may be long wait times for the hotline initially, but that they are continuing to hire and train new staff.

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