New Call to Action: Support Senate Waiver Bill

2022-04-01

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) along with 50 of their colleagues introduced S. 3979, the Support Kids Not Red Tape  Act to extend pandemic child nutrition waivers through September 2023. 

Take-Action-Issue-buttonNow that both chambers of Congress have introduced waiver extension bills, SNA is urging all members to contact their legislators again to urge prompt action to provide USDA waiver authority. TAKE ACTION today and send a new letter to your legislators through SNA’s Action Network!

Last month, U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) introduced a similar bill, H.R. 6613, The Keeping School Meals Flexible Act. SNA advocates sent Congress more than 160,000 letters in support of this House bill to allow for waiver extensions through next school year.  

S. 3979, The Support Kids Not Red Tape Act:

  • Extends USDA’s waiver authority through September 30, 2023.  
  • Directs states to submit a transition plan to USDA so that schools will be prepared and supported when transitioning back to normal National School Lunch Program operations after the waivers end. 
  • Directs the Secretary of Agriculture to provide technical assistance to states on drafting transition plans and to School Food Authorities on meeting meal standards during the waiver period. 
  • Prevents schools from being penalized for not meeting meal pattern requirements during the waiver period if the violations are due to supply chain disruptions. 

In a press release on the new bill, SNA President Beth Wallace expressed the Association’s strong support for the legislation. “School meal programs, a crucial source of nutritional support for millions of families nationwide, face tremendous immediate and long-term challenges in the absence of these child nutrition waivers,” said Wallace. “Acute supply chain disruptions, persistent labor shortages and escalating costs make it impossible for these programs to return to normal operations next school year. This legislation is absolutely critical to sustaining school meal programs, ensuring children have access to nutritious school meals and preventing substantial financial losses for schools nationwide.” 

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