They extended the deadline to apply for a federal benefit for some students. The pandemic EBT card pays $285 for each student who got free or reduced-price meals at school, to make up for those meals missed in the spring. The new deadline to apply for the card is August 21. Rachel Cooper, with the group Every Texan, encourages every eligible family to sign up. Cooper says that as of July 17, more than 20 percent of 3.6 eligible kids had not signed up.