LAS CRUCES, NM — Families with students in the Las Cruces Public School system may be eligible for additional nutrition assistance over the summer, thanks to federal relief funds released to New Mexico.
The state estimates that approximately 71% of New Mexico students are now eligible to receive benefits through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT). The program supplies qualifying families with an EBT card that has the value of free school breakfasts and lunches. Benefits are based on federal reimbursement rates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and could provide up to $114 per student each month. The program is intended to provide nutritional assistance after the current meal distribution ends on May 20 at the 19 LCPS grab-and-go sites.
Families currently on SNAP benefits will see additional funds on their current EBT account by the end of the month. Families with students who receive free and reduced lunch, attend a Community Eligibility School (CES), or a Provision 2 school where all students eat free, will receive a P-EBT benefit card in the mail. All elementary schools and all middle schools in Las Cruces are considered CES schools. The EBT cards are expected to be sent in early June.
Families who have had a change in their economic circumstances due to the COVID-19 crisis or any high school student from Las Cruces who thinks they may qualify can fill out a new application to receive these benefits.
“We want to encourage all high school students to turn in an application because they may qualify for the benefit,” stated Edwanda Williams, the Director of Nutritional Services.
Applications can be picked up beginning Tuesday, May 12, at Lynn Middle School, Mesa Middle School, or Picacho Middle School. Applications can be returned to the same school no later than May 20. You do not have to be a student of those schools to get an application; families are encouraged to visit any of the three schools that are closest to them.