Attributed to Kate Leone, Chief Government Relations Officer
“Feeding America is relieved that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has extended critical school nutrition waivers until the end of the calendar year. As the largest hunger relief organization in the nation, we know that these flexibilities are critical to ensure that children facing hunger have access to nutritious food in a safe and effective manner. School meals are the only reliable source of nutrition each day for millions of children in this country, and this announcement will ensure that their families are not turned away or forced to go to another location to access meals.
“While today’s announcement is helpful, it does fall short by ending waivers with the calendar year rather than extending them through the school year. It is critical that USDA extends the school nutrition waivers until the end of the academic school year to give meal providers the flexibilities needed to adjust as the school year progresses. This is also critical to provide certainty to children and families. With the window closing for that extension at the end of September, we ask them to make this change. Without it, schools and communities will be forced to change their meal operations in the middle of winter, creating confusion for kids and families. The ability for children facing hunger to get the meals they need will hang in the balance until then."
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About Feeding America
Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of more than 200 food banks, 21 statewide food bank associations, and over 60,000 partner agencies, food pantries and meal programs, we helped provide 6.6 billion meals to tens of millions of people in need last year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; brings attention to the social and systemic barriers that contribute to food insecurity in our nation; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.