COVID-19 -- Food and Nutrition Service's Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer -- Interim Report [open pdf - 9MB]
From the What OIG [Office of the Inspector General] Found: "The Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT), administered by the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), provided benefits loaded on EBT cards for the purchase of food in lieu of the meals that the children would have received in school. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) authorized the establishment of P-EBT temporary assistance for households with children affected by school closures due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The Secretary authorized $37.1 billion to the States from P-EBT's March 18, 2020, inception through March 31, 2021, with the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) approval. We also found that during the period reviewed, FNS conducted outreach activities--such as webinars, phone calls, and written documentation--to maximize State participation in P-EBT assistance. Finally, FNS did not develop formal procedures to distribute P�'EBT funds because P-EBT provided temporary emergency assistance benefits. Instead, FNS used the legislative eligibility requirements to develop State plan templates and released guidance for State agencies to submit their proposed plans to FNS for approval. We did not identify any issues that would warrant recommendations; therefore, we are not making any recommendations in this report."
Department of Agriculture. Office of the Inspector General. Inspection Report 27801-0001-23(1)