“School meal waivers gave schools the flexibility to feed kids during the pandemic, allowing them to adjust how food was distributed and keep our children fed. This quick action was vital as COVID-19 spread throughout communities, it ensured that children learning remotely could still access meals each day.  It helped provide flexibilities so that parents could pick up meals and removed other barriers that could have kept children from accessing these meals.

That’s why acting before this looming deadline was of the upmost importance to me.

I want to ensure that school meal programs continue to operate in ways that make it easier for our children and their parents to access them during the school year. Additionally, these waivers helped improve access to meals during the summer. Hunger does not take a break during the summer, and neither should the programs our children use to stay full and nourished.

That’s why the Keep Kids Fed Act is so important. It continues vital summer meal flexibilities through September and allow schools continued flexibility in the meals they must serve through the end of the upcoming school year while still ensuring access to nutritious meals.  During the upcoming school year, the bill would boost reimbursements for every school lunch and breakfast serve to help offset higher costs and supply chain challenges facing those who operate these programs. And it would temporarily allow families up to 185% of the federal poverty level to be eligible for free school meals, among other provisions.

Ensuring every child can access nutritious meals means they can focus on their learning, not on a growling stomach. Congress can build on this anti-hunger work by advancing the bill I have introduced with Rep. Ilhan Omar, the Universal School Meals Act, to provide every child with three meals each school day, which will help every child – no matter their income – succeed in the classroom and support families facing food insecurity.”

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