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USDA Extends Free Meals for Kids Through Summer

todayMarch 13, 2021 6

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has decided to extend waivers for students to continue to receive free meals.

What We Know:

  • On Tuesday, the USDA announced that it is extending its effort to fight food insecurity by providing free meals to children until the fall. As the coronavirus pandemic continues, all students are eligible to receive free meals regardless of income.
  • Since the beginning of the pandemic, NBC News reports that the USDA has issued over a dozen critical waivers, including provisions to make summer meals free and accessible in more areas for students 18 and under while lifting the usual restrictions on serving sizes or limited hours for distribution. They also allow parents or guardians to pick-up meals in bulk to allow for safer consumption away from crowded distribution sites.
  • Usually, only low-income families are eligible to participate in summer meal programs that are available to students who suffer from food insecurity at home and depend on the lunches provided during the academic school year. Now, the COVID-19 pandemic has lifted restrictions as the USDA estimates more than 12 million children are suffering from food insecurity in large part to the health crisis and its lasting impacts on people’s economic welfare.
  • Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement, “We will do everything we can to make sure children get access to healthy, nutritious meals regardless of their families’ financial circumstances. Our child nutrition professionals are doing a heroic job ensuring kids across the country have proper nutrition throughout this public health emergency, oftentimes with limited resources. USDA is committed to providing local operators with the flexibilities and resources they need to continue offering the best meal service possible to their children, given their day-to-day realities.”

The free meal extension will remain in place until September 30th, 2021.

The post USDA Extends Free Meals for Kids Through Summer appeared first on Black News Alerts.

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