Senators Urge Nutrition Program Extension

Senators Urge Nutrition Program Extension

Oregon’s U.S. Senator’s Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and 27 of their Democratic Senate colleagues are calling for a full extension of school meal waivers through the end of the current school year.

A release said that would give schools the flexibility needed to fully serve students whether or not they are attending school in person.

The group initially made this request in July. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced that it will agree to extend some of the school meal waivers.

A letter from the group said its concerned that not all waivers have been extended for the entire school year. It said “…we urge you to correct this as soon as possible”.

The letter said the remaining waivers that have not been extended for the entire 2020-21 school year are “…desperately needed by school meal providers across the county to ensure they have the funding, flexibility, and certainty to continue feeding school children for the entire upcoming school year”.

The release said many localities are dealing with budget shortfalls due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and are relying on federal assistance to keep providing meals”. It said millions of parents have lost their jobs in the past six months and are struggling to ensure their children have access to nutritious and healthy meals. The senators said many families are relying on school provided meals as one of their only reliable sources of healthy food for their children.

The group’s letter was sent to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.