USDA Extends Universal Free Lunch Through Next School Year
Posted by Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity on April 27, 2021
The United States Department of Agriculture announced on April 20th that it would extend universal free lunch through the 2021-2022 school year, in an effort to reach more of the estimated 12 million youths experiencing food insecurity. In March, the USDA said these waivers, which made school meals more flexible to administer, would be extended only to Sept. 30, leaving schools and families uncertain about what next school year might look like. Child nutrition program waivers, which aimed to cut through red tape to allow kids to eat free even outside normal meal times, were implemented at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, at a time when millions of families faced financial strain, hunger, and hardship. The waivers allowed schools and community organizations to adapt programs to better meet the needs of children and families.
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