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SNA Lauds House Vote to Extend Waivers

2020-09-23

ARLINGTON, VA – The non-profit School Nutrition Association (SNA) is praising the House of Representatives’ vote to extend critical school meal program waivers through the end of the 2020/2021 school year and urging speedy Senate approval and US Department of Agriculture (USDA) action to implement the waiver extensions.

The House version of the Continuing Resolution, passed late on September 22, included language allowing USDA to extend all Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option (SSO) waivers through the end of the school year. The waiver extensions will permit schools to continue offering meals to all children at no charge, minimizing the challenges of meal service and ensuring hungry students have access to healthy school meals during the pandemic.

“With these waiver extensions, no family will have to worry about their child going without a healthy school meal, whether they’re learning in school or at home,” said SNA President Reggie Ross, SNS. “Schools and families will not be unnecessarily burdened with paperwork and nutrition staff can focus on safely preparing and serving meals through the pandemic. It is critical that the Senate and USDA act quickly to pass and implement the waiver extensions so school meal programs can effectively plan for the entire school year assured that all hungry students can be fed.”

SNA has consistently advocated for waivers to support school meal programs serving students during the pandemic. On August 31, when USDA extended waivers through as late as December 31, 2020, SNA again urged for waiver extensions through the end of the school year, citing a multitude of challenges with serving meals in a pandemic. SNA is also calling on Congress to provide financial relief for school meal programs to mitigate losses related to COVID-19 school closures.

“SNA thanks House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott and Representative Rodney Davis for their efforts to ensure this language was included in the agreement,” said Ross.

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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