USDA Extends Free Meals for Kids Through December 31, 2020

The Department of Agriculture Monday extended free meals for kids through December 31. The announcement, according to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, allows summer meal program operators to continue serving free meals to all children into the fall months. The flexibilities include permitting meals to be served outside of the typically required group settings and mealtimes, waiving meal pattern requirements and allowing parents and guardians to pick-up meals for their children. Democrats have asked Perdue to make the flexibilities available for the full 2020-2021 school year. Previously criticizing failure to do so, Debbie Stabenow, a Senate Democrat from Michigan and ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, says, “I’m pleased the USDA has finally listened and agreed to extend important school meals flexibilities.” In the announcement, USDA says, “while there have been some well-meaning people asking USDA to fund this through the entire 2020-2021 school year, we are obligated to not spend more than is appropriated by Congress.”

NAFB  News Service