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News & Action Items: Nutrition & Legislative

USDA Extends Free Meals for Kids Through December 31, 2020

Monday, August 31, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Hillari Wennerstrom

Today, at 10:00 am, Secretary Perdue will be announced that USDA is extending waivers to allow the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the Seamless Summer Options (SSO) to continue to run through December 31, 2020, provided that funding remains available. The waiver extensions fall under authorities Congress provided the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), and is within the funding that Congress has appropriated for child nutrition programs. Importantly, USDA does not anticipate having the funding to provide these flexibilities for the entire 2020-2021 school year.

To date, USDA has provided more than 3000 flexibilities across our 15 nutrition assistance programs to help ensure participants have access to food during this unprecedented time.  Our regulations provide a 90-day reporting structure from the last day of the month meals are served, meaning that USDA is still finalizing meal count numbers from April; we will not receive final reports on May data until late September. However, with the new information we have gleaned from the updated April numbers, USDA FNS is now projecting that we will have the funds to reimburse meals provided under these wavier extensions for the remaining months of 2020.

USDA will continue to work closely with States, schools and other partners on the ground to ensure children receive nutritious meals in the months ahead, just as we have done throughout this entire pandemic. As additional flexibilities may be provided, we will continue to keep you informed.

Click here to view the full press release.

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