P-EBT CDSS–focus on our ability to promote government services

In the summer of 2020, California launched a Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfers (P-EBT) program to serve an estimated 3.7M children who missed free or reduced-price meals due to pandemic-related school closures. Many families reported confusion and mistrust about the benefits and, as a result, didn’t take advantage of them. Rescue Agency partnered with the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) to build upon lessons learned from the first round of P-EBT communications and to ensure that the second round clearly communicated, educated, and informed families, stakeholders, childcare centers, and school districts about the program in an intentional multi-phased approach.

Inspired by real user experiences uncovered during audience research, we developed a series of ads that clearly explained the benefits and safety of using P-EBT. Our ad “Open Goodness” answered families’ most urgent questions about P-EBT and was available in Armenian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Spanish, Russian, Tagalog, Korean, Arabic, and Farsi. The video then directed visitors to an easy-to-navigate website and online survey to check their eligibility and learn more.

We also developed a series of ads featuring real families with relatable stories who discussed how they used their P-EBT benefits. These videos helped build trust in the program and showed families just how easy it was to take advantage of their P-EBT benefits. These culturally authentic video ads were available in English, Spanish and Chinese. Watch “Jovita’s Story” to learn more.

If you’d like to learn more about our strategy for promoting access to and increasing awareness of government benefits for priority populations, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


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