On Friday, June 2, 2023, SNA’s Board of Directors met with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to discuss the financial crisis facing school meal programs when the additional Keep Kids Fed Act reimbursements expire on June 30. Since Congress has taken no action to extend these critical funds, SNA’s Board has been urging USDA to help.
During the call, Secretary Vilsack announced that USDA is issuing a fourth round of Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) funds, or Supply Chain Assistance (SCA) funds. This additional $1.2 billion in funds is for school district purchases of unprocessed or minimally processed domestic food products. SNA will update this article with a link to USDA’s memorandum for further details, once available.
SNA President Lori Adkins, MS, SNS, CHE, said, “School meal programs face a breaking point due to historically high costs, rising unpaid meal debt and increased staffing and equipment needs to meet impending nutrition standards. We greatly appreciate Secretary Vilsack’s commitment to support school meal programs during this challenging time and provide these critical funds to supply more U.S. grown foods for student meals.”
SNA continues to urge Congress to provide a permanent school meal reimbursement rate increase.