|Posted:||March 11, 2022 12:56 PM|
|From:||Representative Austin A. Davis|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Urging Congress to Extend School Meal Waivers for the 2022-23 School Year|
|At this moment, nearly 30 million students across the country are receiving free school meals through programs that have served as a critical lifeline for families over the past two years. But without immediate action by Congress, millions of these children will soon be cut off from these programs and left without a stable source of nutrition at a time of increasing economic uncertainty.
Since COVID-19 closed schools in March 2020, federal waivers have allowed school nutrition programs to become more flexible and receive greater reimbursements in order to serve free meals to all students, no matter where they are learning from or how much money their parents make. As more and more families have faced poverty and food insecurity in the midst of the pandemic, demand for these free meals has skyrocketed. For many children, school meals are their only stable source of nutrition that is vital for positive development, and the federal waivers have ensured that access to these programs was not in jeopardy. But unless Congress reauthorizes the waivers, the majority of school meal programs will be unable to withstand rising costs, labor shortages, and supply chain disruptions beyond June 30th, 2022, leaving many working families without help as they head into the 2022-23 school year.
It is imperative that Congress reauthorize the Secretary of Agriculture to issue these statewide waivers so that our schools can continue to provide healthy meals to millions of children, and our working families can be supported as they navigate these unprecedented times. Please join me in urging Congress to ensure no American child goes hungry by extending the deadline for these waivers until the end of the next school year.
Thank you for your consideration.
Introduced as HR185