Gov. Abbott announces $2.5 billion in food benefits for Texas families in need

FILE - Gov. Greg Abbott gives a press conference (Photo: Fox 26 Houston)

With the COVID-19 pandemic still a threat to the U.S. and Texas, Governor Greg Abbott announced Thursday some more help is on the way for families in need. 

Based on a press statement, Gov. Abbott said the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a second round of federal Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) food benefits for families with children who have temporarily lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to COVID-19 during the 2020-2021 school year.

With the second round of benefits, more than $2.5 billion will be able to help about 3.7 million eligible children in Texas. 

"Thank you to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for approving this second round of pandemic food benefits for Texas families," Gov. Abbott said. "These additional benefits will continue to help Texans provide food for their families. I thank our state partners at HHSC, TEA, and TDA for working together to secure these benefits and administering them quickly to families across the state."

This is a substantial increase since last Summer, which provided more than $1 billion in food benefits to 3 million children. 

"These additional food benefits are a lifeline and will go a long way to help many Texas families put nutritious food on the table," said HHS Executive Commissioner Cecile Erwin Young. "We’ve worked closely with our many state and federal partners and we’re thankful to get this program off the ground so we can help people during this challenging time."

For additional information, go online or call the P-EBT Call Center at 833-442-1255.