The NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) has established a Pandemic EBT helpline: P-EBT Food Benefits Helpline at 833-452-0096 is now available! It will be staffed from 8:30am to 5:00pm, Monday-Friday.  
We write to ask for your help in disseminating a message to your parent communities about the $420 per student Pandemic-Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) cards that will soon be sent out to parents of NYC public school children (if they have not been received already).
 
First we would like to be sure that undocumented immigrant families know that they can access this benefit without risking their immigration status.  However, in order to receive this benefit, their most current address must be in the ATS.  This is also true for families in temporary housing who are not currently receiving SNAP or Medicaid.

There are also families who may not need this benefit and may want to donate it to those in need. Our CECD2 has worked with NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson's office and other groups around the city to see if there was a way for our parent communities to help others, potentially by having parents donate their P-EBT money. While a direct donation of the cards is not possible, we'd like to encourage those who are in a position to donate the money to make a  financial (potentially tax deductible) donation to an organization that can help those experiencing food insecurity.
 
We've worked with colleagues to set up a simple website ( https://www.sharemypebt.com) that explains a little more: parents can/ should use the money over the course of the next year in venues that may help stimulate the local economy- farmer's markets, for instance. They can then make a donation, if possible to places like  Community Food Advocates (working with the DOE currently to assist with meal distribution) or  other food pantries in local neighborhoods. Links to all this information and potential places to donate are listed on the  ShareMyP-EBT website.
 
It will take all of us to help combat food insecurity, and we hope you will help us disseminate this message to your parent communities. 
 
With regards,
Shino Tanikawa and Ushma Neill
Manhattan Borough President Appointees on CECD2
 
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