"Extending these waivers will give schools and local organizations more of the necessary resources and flexibilities they need to operate meal programs safely, effectively and efficiently through the summer months. As a result, more kids will have the food they need to grow and thrive,” says Senior Vice President Lisa Davis.
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WASHINGTON, DC - This morning, the United States Department of Agriculture announced that it would extend three nationwide child nutrition waivers which have been essential in enabling school districts and community organizations to reach kids with the food they need while schools have been closed. By extending these waivers through August 31st, these organizations will be able to continue safely feeding children in need through the summer months.
The following is a statement from Share Our Strength Senior Vice President Lisa Davis thanking the USDA and highlighting what this will mean for hungry children across the United States.
“On behalf of the children and families we serve, No Kid Hungry sincerely thanks the USDA for extending these essential nationwide child nutrition waivers through this summer.
Extending these waivers will give schools and local organizations more of the necessary resources and flexibilities they need to continue to operate meal programs safely, effectively and efficiently.
As a result, more kids will have the food they need to grow and thrive and reach their full potential.
Summer is already one of the hungriest times of the year for many kids as they lose access to free and low-cost school meals. This year, we are facing skyrocketing need, as the COVID-19 crisis continues to push millions of families into poverty and hunger.
Making sure children and families don’t go hungry during these unprecedented times requires leveraging a variety of tools and resources. School and community meal programs, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Pandemic EBT and charitable emergency feeding programs are designed to work together and supplement one another to ensure that no child slips through the cracks.
Summer meals programs, funded by the USDA and run by school districts and local organizations, help feed children when schools are closed. By law, these programs operate as “congregate feeding models,” meaning kids must gather together and eat in a group. Many of the meal programs operate as part of summer schools, day camps, and library programs, most of which will not be operating as usual this year.
Even before the pandemic hit, it has always been more challenging to reach kids with the food they need during the summer months under the current regulations. We’ve heard for years that allowing parents pick up meals that last several days or have meals delivered to a child’s home would allow more children to get the food they need, especially in rural and hard-to-reach areas. These waivers have shown that this does work. They have been invaluable over the past several weeks, making it possible for communities to adapt programs and continue to feed children when school is out of session. By extending them, Secretary Perdue and his team at USDA are helping equip the school food service and non-profit staff who are on the front-lines feeding kids with the tools they need.
The road to economic recovery begins with families having the food they need for their kids to thrive. Thank you.”
About No Kid Hungry
No child should go hungry in America. But 1 in 7 kids will face hunger this year. No Kid Hungry is ending childhood hunger through effective programs that provide kids with the food they need. This is a problem we know how to solve. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of Share Our Strength, an organization working to end hunger and poverty. Join us at NoKidHungry.org