Scott Applauds USDA’s Reversal on School Meal Waivers

August 31, 2020
Press Release

As originally released by the Committee on Education & Labor

WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Robert C. "Bobby" Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s decision to extend waivers allowing states and schools the flexibility to more easily operate emergency summer meal programs until December 31, 2020. The announcement came days after USDA told Congress that it did not have the authority or money to extend the waivers.

“After a summer in which as many as 17 million children went hungry, the federal government should be doing everything in its power to address our nation’s child hunger crisis. I am pleased that USDA decided to reverse its previous position and extend critical summer meal program waivers until the end of the year.

“As the new school year begins with many schools in hybrid or fully remote instruction, continuing the operation of summer meal programs is essential to make school meals available to struggling families. However, this remains a temporary solution that will expire long before the child hunger crisis ends. USDA must immediately use its authority to extend summer school meal flexibilities through the end of 2020-21 school year to ensure schools can continue to meet the needs of struggling families. 

“In addition, the next coronavirus response package must extend the Pandemic-EBT program, which has prevented millions of children from going hungry during the pandemic, and it must include significant investments in school meal programs that are facing insolvency.

“Congress passed strong child nutrition provisions with overwhelming bipartisan support in March. The need today is the same if not greater than before. We must continue to do everything we can to prevent child hunger and support families during this crisis.” 

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