"This extension is important for hungry kids," says Davis. "But at a time when child hunger has ballooned and millions of families are sinking into poverty, the USDA needs to extend all waivers through the entire school year."
Contact: Meredith Jorss, email@example.com
WASHINGTON, DC - This morning, the United States Department of Agriculture announced that it would extend all nationwide child nutrition waivers through December 31, 2020, making it easier for schools and community groups to continue safely feeding children of all ages for the first half of the school year. The following is a statement from Share Our Strength’s Senior Vice President Lisa Davis:
“This extension is important for hungry kids headed back to school, younger siblings not yet in school, parent struggling to make ends meet and for the schools and community groups rising to the challenge to feed them during this pandemic. We thank Secretary Perdue and his team for taking action by extending these critical flexibilities.
But extending the waivers through December is not enough. With COVID-19 cases on the rise in many areas, the health and economic effects of this pandemic will likely continue to impact children, families and schools well into 2021. To feed millions of children, schools need time to thoughtfully plan and prepare. Last minute, stop-gap measures like these can create confusion for parents and barriers to the long-term planning needed to reach the unprecedented number of kids going hungry in our country right now.
Clear and consistent flexibility and guidance is critical. At a time when child hunger has ballooned and millions of families are sinking into poverty, the USDA needs to be pulling out all of the stops to make sure they are “Doing Right and Feeding Everyone,” not waiting until the last minute to act and taking a short-term approach.
Children need the certainty of nutritious meals and schools and community organizations like Boys and Girls Clubs and YMCAs need time to make plans to best provide them. That’s why it’s critical that these waivers are extended through the entire 2020-2021 school year.
While there is much that divides our nation right now, both Republican and Democratic Members of Congress have weighed in clearly with Secretary Perdue that there is bipartisan support for these waivers and for feeding kids.
We strongly urge the USDA to work with Congress to extend all child nutrition waivers for the entire school year so children can continue getting the nutrition they need to learn and grow.”
About No Kid Hungry
No child should go hungry in America. But in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, 1 in 4 kids could face hunger this year. No Kid Hungry is working to end childhood hunger by helping launch and improve programs that give all kids the healthy food they need to thrive. This is a problem we know how to solve. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of Share Our Strength, an organization committed to ending hunger and poverty.