Governor announces new pandemic food assistance
By John McPhaul
Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia, along with Alberto Fradera Vázquez, head of the Family Socioeconomic Development Administration (ADSEF by its Spanish acronym), announced on Monday a new disbursement of the pandemic food assistance program that will impact more families in Puerto Rico, including those with children under five years of age.
“We estimate that more than 76,500 minors between 0 and 5 years old will receive help, while some 304,000 are eligible for summer P-EBT,” Pierluisi said at a press conference. “With these disbursements we contribute so that our most needy families can provide better food opportunities for their sons and daughters, with better access to healthy, varied and balanced foods. All this is part of our continuous effort to seek alternatives that result in relief for the pocketbooks of our families who need it most.”
A single disbursement of $455 per child will be made through the summer P-EBT and P-EBT Summer Child Care programs. As in previous phases, the summer P-EBT is for students enrolled in public or private schools that receive school cafeteria services from the Department of Education (DE). The disbursement will arrive automatically to those who have previously requested it or are participants in the Nutritional Aid Program (PAN by its Spanish acronym).
Meanwhile, the P-EBT Summer Child Care program is aimed at children five years old or younger who also receive PAN, but who did not receive the regular P-EBT.
For the first program $139 million has been allocated, while $18 million has been allocated for the second program, for a total of $157 million, the governor noted.
Fradera Vázquez said the disbursements will be made according to the last digit of the participants’ Social Security number, according to the following schedule (with the date of disbursement followed by the corresponding digit): Tuesday, Aug. 2, 0-3; Wednesday, Aug. 3, 4-6; Friday, Aug. 5, 7-9.
The officials noted that to date, more than 241,027 students from 845 public schools and private educational institutions have benefited from the food assistance programs, which is equivalent to an economic impact of $62,959,172.