USDA extends free-meal service for kids through 2020

Published: Aug. 31, 2020 at 4:23 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday announced a move to allow operators of summer meal programs to continue serving free meals through the fall months, as late as Dec. 31.

The USDA said “the unprecedented move” will help ensure children have access to nutritious food as the country recovers form 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. During the COVID-19 pandemic, USDA has provided an unprecedented amount of flexibilities to help schools feed kids through the school meal programs, and today, we are also extending summer meal program flexibilities for as long as we can, legally and financially,” said USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. “We appreciate the incredible efforts by our school foodservice professionals year in and year out, but this year we have an unprecedented situation. This extension of summer program authority will employ summer program sponsors to ensure meals are reaching all children – whether they are learning in the classroom or virtually – so they are fed and ready to learn, even in new and ever-changing learning environments.”

You can learn more about the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) efforts to provide meal assistance for children and teens and the service’s response to COVID-19 here:

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