Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) is a new state option launched in the spring of 2020 to address the food needs of lowincome
children during COVID-related school closures by providing directly to families receiving free or
reduced-price meals the value of missed breakfasts and lunches via a SNAP-like benefit card. Every state, the
District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands implemented P-EBT. Though precise national outcome data are not
yet available, states, under a very tight time frame, with limited and evolving federal guidance, and during a
period of unprecedented difficulty, did a remarkable job implementing P-EBT. The program delivered some $7
to $10 billion in food assistance to up to 30 million school children.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Food Research & Action Center conducted a rapid
assessment project to document the development and implementation of P-EBT. The project identified the
various approaches states took to implement P-EBT, as well as key preliminary lessons state officials and other
stakeholders have learned, to inform states and others as they implement P-EBT for the 2020-2021 school
Other resources from the project can be found at and
Information below about South Dakota is based on publicly available materials and two survey responses
representing the SNAP agency and Child Nutrition agency perspectives about how P-EBT operated for the
2019-2020 school year. The information has been confirmed by the SNAP agency. We will update this
information to reflect any corrections or clarifications we receive from states.
For more information on South Dakota’s P-EBT program, click here: