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DHS denies children food benefits; Grandmother Patricia Gray never notified of new deadline

A frustrated grandmother in Robertson County says the state shorted her grandchildren up to $4,500 in food benefits.

Two of the woman’s three grandchildren have significant disabilities. Patricia Gray said the Department of Human Services didn’t notify her of a new Pandemic EBT benefit sign-up process for virtual students, sent her text alerts meant for someone else, and is still denying her the money.

Gray has custody of her grandchildren. Evan, 13, was born unable to see. He’s tube-fed and has autism.

“He can tell which train it is by the rhythm,” said Gray, as Evan sat next to her on the sofa holding a toy train to his ear. “His mobility declined this year, so he’s going to be outfitted for a wheelchair…I essentially retired to be able to take care of the grandkids.”

Evan’s sister Riley, 11, was born with a genetic disorder that makes her immune system vulnerable. Their older brother is in high school. Gray uses her retirement funds and Evan and Riley’s disability checks to feed her family.

“We spend approximately $900 to $1000 a month on food,” she said.

Federally-funded PEBT benefits have helped families like Gray’s. The funds are distributed by states. Gray believes she would have received up to $4,500 this last and final round of PEBT benefits, which started during the pandemic.

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00:00 DHS denies children food benefits; Grandmother never notified of new deadline
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