Maricopa County Public Health reports 2,719 total COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday, April 21, an increase of 85 cases from the day prior.
The county also reports a total 84 COVID-19-related deaths, an increase of nine from the previous day. Of those county deaths, 47 are tied to long-term care facilities.
Statewide, the Arizona Department of Health Services reports 5,251 total COVID-19 cases and 208 total deaths.
Households with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals will receive benefits equivalent to one free lunch and one free breakfast for each child under a newly announced program.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service authorized Arizona’s Department of Economic Security to provide “Arizona P-EBT Pandemic School Meal Replacement Benefits” to eligible households.
Nearly 600,000 students receive free or reduced-price school meals in Arizona, including 186,000 students already receiving Nutrition Assistance, who will be eligible for these benefits, according to a press release from Gov. Doug Ducey’s office.
The households will receive benefits equivalent to one free lunch and one free breakfast for each eligible child and represent additional support from free meals being distributed at state schools, including Chandler USD.
Families that have been accessing meals from schools during the closure are still eligible for these benefits.
The benefits will be retroactive to March 16 and are calculated based on the number of school days for which the child would have received assistance from school meal programs.
Eligible families will receive $69 for March, $126 in April, and $120 in May, for each child.
Benefits will first be distributed to the majority of existing eligible Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, households this week through their existing accounts.
DES will also coordinate with the Arizona Department of Education to identify eligible households who do not already participate in SNAP. Such households will receive Electronic Benefit Transfer cards with benefits beginning in early May.
In addition to Pandemic School Meal Replacement Benefits, eligible SNAP households will receive the maximum amount of benefits allotted for their household size for April and May, as authorized in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.