USDA Ensures All Kids Can Get Free Meals This Summer as Nation Reopens

bagged lunch
Department Extends Additional Flexibility for Feeding Children

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced a nationwide extension of another key flexibility for USDA’s child nutrition programs.

This waiver allows local partners, who have been working overtime serving meals to kids during the health crisis, the ability to continue serving free meals to all children – regardless of where they live – for the remainder of the summer.

This action is part of USDA’s ongoing commitment to making it as easy as possible for local program operators to get food to children impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As our nation reopens and people return to work, it remains critical our children continue to receive safe, healthy, and nutritious food. We are extending one of the significant flexibilities provided in March during the coronavirus national emergency to schools, summer sites, and other folks who operate our programs so they can best adapt to the situation on-the-ground and serve our children well,” said Secretary Perdue. “This nationwide flexibility ensures America’s kids will continue to be fed this summer.”

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Since the start of the national public health crisis, FNS has used a whole of America approach to ensure those in need have access to one or more of the 15 nutrition assistance programs under USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service’s (FNS) umbrella.

To date, FNS has approved over 2,800 flexibilities and will continue to work with states and other partners as the nation turns its focus to reopening in a safe way.

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