𝗔𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗡𝗲𝗲𝗱𝗲𝗱: 𝗨𝗿𝗴𝗲 𝗦𝗲𝗻𝗮𝘁𝗼𝗿 𝗦𝗰𝗵𝘂𝗺𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗼 𝗣𝗿𝗶𝗼𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗶𝘇𝗲 𝗖𝗵𝗶𝗹𝗱 𝗡𝘂𝘁𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗪𝗮𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝗖𝗢𝗩𝗜𝗗-𝟭𝟵 𝗥𝗲𝗹𝗶𝗲𝗳 𝗕𝗶𝗹𝗹
The Senate is currently negotiating a COVID-19 relief package that can—and must—include an extension of USDA’s authority to issue critical child nutrition waivers that have enabled access to meals amid ongoing operational challenges and economic fallout from COVID-19. Without an extension, the waivers will expire June 30, 2022, jeopardizing summer meal program operations and leaving 800,000 New York students without access to free school meals next school year.
While our Senators have shown continued support on this issue—including by cosponsoring the Support Kids Not Red Tape Act of 2022 introduced last week—we need their vocal leadership to ensure the Senate prioritizes waiver extensions in this COVID-19 relief package, and that the extensions cover both the summer and the 2022-2023 school year.
Summer meal sponsors, school districts, and most importantly, New York’s children, cannot wait. A recent USDA survey showed that 90% of school food authorities are relying on the waivers to operate nutrition programs this school year. As 97% of schools struggle with rising food costs, and 95% report staffing shortages, continued flexibilities are vital to keep nutrition programs afloat and ensure children’s access to healthy food amid economic and educational recovery.
𝗖𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗰𝘁 𝗦𝗲𝗻𝗮𝘁𝗼𝗿 𝗦𝗰𝗵𝘂𝗺𝗲𝗿’𝘀 𝗼𝗳𝗳𝗶𝗰𝗲 𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗹𝘆 𝘁𝗼 𝘂𝗿𝗴𝗲 𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗵𝗶𝗽 𝗼𝗻 𝗯𝗲𝗵𝗮𝗹𝗳 𝗼𝗳 𝗡𝗲𝘄 𝗬𝗼𝗿𝗸’𝘀 𝗰𝗵𝗶𝗹𝗱𝗿𝗲𝗻.
Call, email, and tag the Senator on social media. Share how the waivers have enabled meal access in your school district and community, why extensions are needed through the summer and the 2022-2023 school year, and why those extensions must be secured as quickly as possible to allow preparation for upcoming summer and school year operations.
• FRAC Leave-Behind on Urgent Child Nutrition Priorities: https://frac.org/research/resource-library/leave-behind-2022-urgent-child-nutrition-priorities-waivers-cep-summer-ebt
• Sign-On Letter from 2,000 Organizations Urging Waiver Extensions: https://frac.org/wp-content/uploads/CN_Waiver_SignOnFeb2022.pdf
• Op-Ed: Child Hunger Won’t End With COVID: Congress Must Extend Nutrition Waivers: https://thehill.com/opinion/education/600395-child-hunger-wont-end-with-covid-congress-must-extend-nutrition-waivers