WASHINGTON, D.C. (WYMT) - The United States Department of Agriculture made the decision to give children free meals until December 31, 2020. This move will provide a meal daily for each child during the COVID-19 pandemic.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said, “As our nation reopens and people return to work, it remains critical our children continue to receive safe, healthy, and nutritious food. During the COVID-19 pandemic, USDA has provided an unprecedented amount of flexibilities to help schools feed kids through the school meal programs, and today, we are also extending summer meal program flexibilities for as long as we can, legally and financially.”
Lindsay Aguilar, Director of Food Services for Tuscon Unified School District of Arizona said, “Many of our families who might not qualify for free meals are still going through a tough time and are worried about how to keep food on the table. Now their children will have one less thing to worry about as they adjust to evolving in-school and remote learning scenarios. These waivers also eliminate a massive administrative burden for our school nutrition staff, allowing them to focus on feeding children.”
USDA’s services will provide these services until funding runs out.
- Allowing the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Options (SSO) to be served in all areas, for free.
- Enabling meals to be given outside their school setting
- Authorization for meal pickup by guardian or parent.
- Waiving meal pattern requirements as necessary
These services will establish meal options for each child. USDA is unable to fund through 2020-2021, USDA must comply as they are not permitted to spend more than Congress has given the USDA.