SNA Welcomes School Meal Program Relief Funds

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner  

703-576-7526  

media@schoolnutrition.org  

SNA Welcomes School Meal Program Relief Funds  

 2020-12-22

ARLINGTON, VA – The non-profit School Nutrition Association (SNA) applauded Congress for passing a stimulus bill which includes critical funds to offset some of the losses school nutrition programs have incurred during the pandemic.

School meal program revenue has been slashed due to COVID-19 school closures and other challenges. A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found that in March and April 2020, schools served almost 400 million fewer meals than in the same time frame in 2019, resulting in a drastic drop in federal reimbursements. Closures also curbed a la carte and catering sales just as food and labor costs spiked due to supply chain disruptions, high demand for meal packaging, and new Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and cleaning requirements.

A recent SNA survey revealed crippling financial losses for meal programs, with a harrowing 62% of school nutrition directors anticipating a loss for School Year 2020/21, and an additional 28% of respondents unsure of what to expect. Financial loss was the top concern cited by 93% of respondents in SNA’s survey.

The stimulus bill distributes emergency relief funds to school meal programs based on a formula that takes into account the level of reimbursement a program received in 2019 and the reimbursement received during the pandemic.

SNA, representing school nutrition professionals nationwide, has consistently advocated for financial relief, PPE and other support for school meal programs, which have continued to serve needy students during COVID-19 school closures.

"Throughout this pandemic, despite tremendous challenges, school nutrition professionals have ensured students' continued access to healthy school meals to fuel their academic achievement," said SNA President Reggie Ross, SNS. "These efforts have come at an immense cost for school meal programs, which are facing increased expenses and declining revenue that threaten to cut into education budgets. SNA commends Congress for its work to address this urgent problem and will continue to advocate on behalf of these vital programs to ensure their sustainability moving forward."

The text of the bill is available here. A division-by-division summary of the coronavirus relief provisions is here.


About School Nutrition Association:
The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a national, non-profit professional organization representing 55,000 school nutrition professionals across the country. Founded in 1946, SNA and its members are dedicated to making healthy school meals and nutrition education available to all students. For more information on school meals, visit www.SchoolNutrition.org/SchoolMeals.

 

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