Nutrition Waivers: One Tool with Big Impact and Bipartisan Support

Posted by Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity on March 15, 2022

In this Spotlight Exclusive, Richmond Mayor Levar M. Stoney and Mesa Mayor John C. Giles describe how child nutrition waivers can combat childhood hunger following the pandemic. Stoney and Giles lead the Mayors Alliance to End Childhood Hunger, a nonpartisan initiative that taps the individual and collective leadership of more than 70 mayors across the country to develop and implement meaningful actions to end childhood hunger nationwide. At the beginning of the pandemic, Congress allowed the USDA to issue child nutrition waivers that enabled schools and local groups to develop creative and flexible meal programs that worked best for their communities. Stoney and Giles recently penned a letter to Congressional leadership signed by 45 other mayors to stress the importance of extending the waivers to continue the momentum in fighting childhood hunger. Without these waivers, many kids may not get the food that they need which may be detrimental to children’s physical and mental health, academic success, and future economic prosperity. “To make sure kids continue to get the food they need, Congress must authorize USDA to grant nationwide nutrition waivers as needed through the summer and the 2022-2023 school year,” say Stoney and Giles. “Feeding kids today is one of the smartest investments we can make to help them face the challenges of tomorrow.”

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