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SNA Urges Swift Passage of The Heroes Act

2020-05-12

ARLINGTON, VA – The non-profit School Nutrition Association (SNA) expressed strong support for H.R. 6800, The Heroes Act. The bill, introduced in the House of Representatives today, includes $3 billion in emergency funding to help child nutrition programs cover costs associated with COVID-19 school closures. SNA, representing school nutrition professionals nationwide, has advocated for financial relief, PPE and other support for school meal programs, which continue to serve needy students during COVID-19 school closures.

Schools have encountered numerous challenges transitioning from typical school year cafeteria service to COVID-19 grab-and-go meal pick-up and delivery models. Massive declines in revenue due to school closures have left many programs struggling to cover fixed costs and staff salaries, as well as COVID-19 expenses such as grab and go carts, packaging supplies, meal transportation costs and PPE, which is often in short supply.

These significant financial losses could impact schools’ ability to serve students this coming school year. School meal programs routinely operate on extremely tight budgets, funded by cafeteria sales and reimbursements for meals served. The current funding crisis will impact school cafeteria operations and potentially cut into limited education funding.

To address the crisis, Congresswoman Alma S. Adams, Ph.D. (NC-12), proposed legislation, now included in The Heroes Act, to provide financial relief for school meal programs. The bill distributes funds based on a formula that takes into account the typical level of reimbursement a program would receive to operate the program, and the reimbursement being received during the pandemic.

“With unemployment soaring and food insecurity on the rise, so many more students depend on school meals to nourish their bodies and minds,” said SNA President Gay Anderson, SNS. “COVID-19 has crippled school meal program budgets, leaving many districts without sufficient funds to restock school kitchens for next school year. SNA commends Congresswoman Adams for her work to address this urgent problem. Congress must pass The Heroes Act to ensure school nutrition professionals have the resources to safely meet students’ critical nutrition needs this fall.”

For more information, including bill text and a section by section summary of The Heroes Act, click here.

About School Nutrition Association:
The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 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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