On February 7th, U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger introduced bipartisan legislation that would give schools in Virginia and across the country increased flexibility to continue serving meals to students safely and efficiently.
Current nutrition waivers allow schools to offer meal pickups and deliveries, to pivot quickly should classrooms or entire school buildings have to quarantine, and to benefit from a higher reimbursement rate and increased flexibility while up against the rising cost of food, severe staffing shortages, and supply chain disruptions. However, these waivers are set to expire June 30. The Keeping School Meals Flexible Act would give the USDA the authority to extend the waivers through June 30, 2023.
No Kid Hungry Virginia applauds this proposed legislation and urges Congress to move quickly to grant authority to the USDA to extend these waivers. Sarah Steely, Director of No Kid Hungry Virginia, offers the following thoughts on why the waivers are crucial for Virginia’s school nutrition teams:
“Virginia school nutrition professionals and organizations are planning now for summer meal sites. This legislation would allow the USDA to extend current waivers, so teams can continue to provide meals effectively and safely during the summer months and next school year. Keeping the waivers in place for another year would give organizations stability and are especially helpful for meal sites working to reach rural and hard-to-reach communities.”
You can learn more about this important issue in this op-ed in The Hill from No Kid Hungry’s Lisa Davis.