Montana leaders don’t plan to continue in federal food assistance program

State leaders say it no longer makes sense to participate in a federal program intended to provide food assistance for kids who weren’t in school because of COVID-19. However, some advocates say they’re concerned about what that’s going to mean for families in need this summer.

In 2020, the federal government launched the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer, or P-EBT, program. After taking part for two school years, leaders with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services say they don’t plan to extend their participation. They cited fewer students using the program and a growing administrative burden to implement it.