Action Alert: School Meal Waivers
June 17, 2022 | Written By: Healthy Schools Campaign
June 30. That’s the expiration date on the USDA’s authority to issue waivers that give school meal programs flexibility to get healthy meals to kids in the midst of the ongoing disruptions caused by COVID-19. The disruptions are not over — and historic inflation is leading to unprecedented costs for families for food and other essentials — but the waivers are set to expire in just two weeks unless Congress acts immediately.
The loss of the waivers, which were used by 90% of school food authorities across the country, will have a profound and immediate impact on school meal programs, and on the health and wellness of children, especially children of color. As our partners at the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) explained in a letter to Congress in February, “this arbitrary deadline…[could force] many providers to stop serving meals or shut down altogether and leav[e] millions of children without access to healthy meals” over the summer. The result could be a hunger crisis impacting 10 million children.
Congress missed several opportunities to act on this in the spring, and now time is running out. Our partners at FRAC have a simple tool you can use to raise your voice.