HPS Meals program, P-EBT Benefit Continue

Ken MClemore

The Hope Public Schools continues its free meals distribution for children under age 18 through the summer. Meals are distributed each Monday and Wednesday at sites across Hempstead County. Recipients are asked to observe COVID-19 precautions such as use of face masks and “social distancing” where possible. – Ken McLemore/Hope Public Schools

HOPE – Free meals for children under age 18 continue to be offered by the Hope Public Schools during the summer and the HPS asks parents to confirm residential address information for an additional meal benefit available to all HPS students.

K-12 Food Services Director for Aramark Food Services Cortney Nutt said today no changes are presently anticipated in the continuation of the free meal distribution operated during the COVID-19 health crisis.

Meals are distributed by school bus on Mondays and Wednesdays. Meal packets include a lunch for the day of distribution and a breakfast for the following morning.

Distribution sites and times include:

Bus 1 — Fulton City Park, 11 a.m.; Hope In Action, 11:35-11:50 a.m.; Caney Creek Estates office, 11:55 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.; Mockingbird Circle, 12:20 – 12:35 p.m.; Hope Fair Park, 12:40-1 p.m.

Bus 2 — Patmos Fire Station, 11 a.m.; Yerger Middle School, 11:45 a.m. – 12:05 p.m.; Yerger Terrace, 12:10-12:25 p.m.; Peaks Apartments, 12:30-12:40 p.m.; South View Apartments, 12:45-1 p.m.

Bus 3 — Hope Amandex Apartments, 11 a.m.; Calvary Baptist Church, 11:25-11:40 a.m.; Rising Star Baptist Church, 11:55 a.m. – 12:05 p.m.; Life House Church, 12:15-12:35 p.m.

Meals are free of cost to any child under age 18 residing in Hope and Hempstead County; but, children must be present at the distribution site to receive meals, Nutt said.

COVID-19 protocols such as wearing a face mask and observing “social distancing” are recommended but not required. However, parents and children should remain in their vehicle as they receive meals, Nutt said.

HPS has also responded to a benefit offered school districts eligible for free and reduced meals support.

Because the HPS participates in a U.S. Department of Education program that supplements funding to provide free or reduced meals to students based upon poverty level data, the one-time Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) benefit is potentially available to every HPS student’s family.

The inability of students to receive daily nutrition at school is a key component. The benefit will be administered through a mechanism used in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) called an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card.

The one-time benefit will be issued to SNAP households on their existing EBT card. Non-SNAP households should contact the Arkansas Department of Human Services Client Assistance at 1-800-482-8988, or email their address information to [email protected] online. Parents should also update address information through the HPS, which can be completed by calling 870-722-2700.

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