LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- If your student gets free lunches at school and did distance learning last year, your family is likely eligible for funds on what's called a Pandemic EBT card, but unfortunately, issuance of those funds are lagging locally.
While the state of Nevada's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) initially said benefits could tentatively come by June 1, several dozen parents now tell FOX5 they haven't seen a dime of that.
"Food is expensive. Meat prices are skyrocketing ... We are struggling. Every day," said Tiara Tate, a Las Vegas mother of three struggling with food insecurity.
The federal program is meant to address food insecurity for families like hers.
"We were approved in April! Why? Why is it that Nevada is always behind on everything?" said Tate.
It turns out the plan for a summer disbursement has now changed.
Julie Balderson Knight, spokesperson for the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services' Division of Welfare and Supportive Services said the expect distribution in September.
“We anticipate benefits being distributed for 2020-2021 school year the week of September 10, 2021. Just a point of clarification, the summer P-EBT benefits will be issued separately from the 2020 to 2021 school year benefits," she said. “Unfortunately, while we had originally planned on issuing Summer benefits sooner than 2020-2021 school year benefits, we now anticipate issuing these benefits after the 2020-2021 school year benefits are dispersed in September."
Tate said families like hers need the assistance now.
"The issue is, where are the benefits from the kids being out of school when you closed the schools last school year? We're still waiting for benefits from 2020."
Tate said she doesn't want to give her kids ramen noodles or other inexpensive, yet unhealthy, foods.
Priscilla Diaz, another local mother, said she quit her job to take care of her kids during distance learning.
"It's not something that I wanted, but it's something that I had to do because of the pandemic," said Diaz.
Now, she said she's feeling stressed and hopeless.
"What's going on here in Nevada? What's going on? I mean, that's from last year's, so it's like, are we even gonna see this year's?" said Diaz.
She said she can't get a straight answer either.
"I haven't even gotten my card in the mail," said Diaz.
Three Square Food Bank and its program partners are providing free nutritious meals for children throughout the summer months through its "Meet Up and Eat Up" program.