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Newswest 9 | Midland, Texas | newswest9.com

Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD will benefit from USDA's Pandemic-EBT program this month

"As your finances start to dry up, the food that you’re able to purchase starts to become harder to come by the good stuff," Joy Peters, nutrition director said.

PECOS, Texas — The concept of school lunch looks different. 

Yet another change brought on by COVID-19. 

Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD now handing out sack lunches to be taken home rather than to be eaten in the lunch room. 

The pandemic has also brought about more need. 

"We've had an economic downturn thanks to the oil kind of leaving for a while and so we've seen a lot of families come to pick up our meals," Joy Peters, PBTISD child nutrition director said. 

That's where the USDA is stepping in to offer more help. 

All students in the free and reduced lunch program are now eligible for a monetary stipend to help their families pay for groceries.

Pecos has over 1400 students enrolled right now. 

"With school having been out since March, that number has probably grown. We only get an updated list from the state once a month of who has filed for the SNAP program," Peters said. 

This Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer or P-EBT will come in the form of a debit card of $285 per child. 

"This is going to help a lot of families out, not only in Pecos but across the state," Peters said. 

"We want to make sure that everyone has full stomachs, that they're able to stay healthy and then that way we can see them next fall," Peters said. 

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