Louisiana’s children are facing hardship not seen in decades. According to U.S. Census Household Pulse survey data, 1 in 4 Louisiana households with children recently reported that kids in their home didn’t have enough to eat because the family couldn’t afford adequate food.

In the face of this crisis, Louisiana’s children need every bit of help they can get.

That’s why the Louisiana Budget Project and 26 other organizations are asking Gov. John Bel Edwards, the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and the Louisiana Department of Education (DOE) to re-open applications to the Pandemic EBT program (P-EBT), which provides up to $285 per child for Louisiana families whose kids were receiving free or reduced-price lunch when school was in session during the last school year.

Louisiana’s initial round of P-EBT applications reached two-thirds of eligible kids in the state. But nearly 258,000 children are poised to miss out on up to $73 million food assistance that Congress allocated to them. Now, as schools re-open for remote and in-person instruction, it’s essential that Louisiana reach out to families who didn’t apply for benefits or who had difficulty getting their application approved earlier in the summer.

A new round of applications, combined with targeted outreach, is particularly important for families without documentation and mixed-status families, who face the same economic challenges as all Louisianans are eligible for far less assistance.

We are proud to join with partners around the state in urging Louisiana’s leader to give nearly 258,000 of our state’s children another chance at hunger relief.