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Pandemic Emergency Food & Nutrition Benefits to End March 1

Feb 20, 2023

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – The Cumberland County Department of Social Services wishes to make the public aware that emergency allotments in the Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) program related to the COVID-19 pandemic will end effective March 1, 2023.

Households that have been receiving extra FNS benefits (called "emergency allotments") each month since March 2020 or after will see a reduction in benefits because of a federal change that ends emergency allotments for all states. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and Cumberland County DSS have no control over the federal changes.

Families enrolled in FNS have received additional benefits since March 2020 when the emergency allotments were initiated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Families enrolled in FNS during the pandemic have received at least $95 extra per month since the emergency allotments started.

The recently signed federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 requires all states to end the distribution of emergency allotments after the February 2023 distributions. This means February is the last month recipients will receive these additional benefits. Beginning in March 2023, FNS recipients will no longer receive a second deposit mid-month.

Regular Monthly Benefits

Customers will continue to receive their regular monthly benefit amounts in March 2023 based on their household’s current eligibility, income, household size and other federal eligibility requirements. They will not receive any additional funds to increase their allotment to the maximum benefit level.

Recipients can view their regular monthly FNS benefit amount and their emergency allotment amount online at www.ebtedge.com. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services encourages families to keep their FNS information up-to-date to ensure they receive the maximum amount of benefits they are eligible to receive.

Residents can visit www.ncdhhs.gov/foodresources to learn more about additional food and nutrition resources. Residents may also visit www.nc211.org or dial 211 to be connected to food resources within the community.

Families that have children under 5 or are pregnant/breastfeeding may be eligible for WIC. Learn more about WIC (www.ncdhhs.gov/ncwic) and complete a WIC referral online (www.ncdhhs.gov/ncwicreferral).

Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) for Children

Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) is a food assistance program that helps families with students and children who are unable to access free or reduced-price meals at school or in childcare centers when they are not physically present because of COVID-19. P-EBT has two eligible groups: Student and Child Care (previously called P-EBT for Children Under 6).

North Carolina is preparing to begin this year’s P-EBT program within the next few months. P-EBT has been renewed for the 2022-23 school year, or until the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) ends. The PHE is currently set to end in May.

Detailed eligibility requirements for the 2022-2023 school year have not yet been announced. Families are not required to apply to receive P-EBT benefits. Please visit https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/information/human-services/pandemic-electronic-benefit-transfer-p-ebt-program for more information on this program as it is announced.


NC DHHS has mailed notices to FNS recipients regarding the reduced allotments beginning in March 2023. The notice contains details about the change as well as additional resources for families in need of help with food. Recipients are encouraged to watch their mail for more information.