Rep. Omar Statement on Extension of MEALS Act Provisions
WASHINGTON—Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) released the following statement after the House passed a continuing resolution to extend the provisions of the MEALS Act, legislation she passed into law this spring to provide school meals to more than 20 million children. Specifically, the continuing resolution extends the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) authority to provide schools critical flexibility for school meals through the fiscal year 2021 and guarantees that USDA can access as much funding as it needs to help schools feed their students under the MEALS Act.
“Because of the MEALS Act, we were able to provide school meals to millions of children across the country,” Rep. Omar said. “Unfortunately, this Administration and Republicans have been doing everything in their power to strip funding for child nutrition programs. Throughout the summer, I have made numerous requests to the Department of Agriculture urging them to act swiftly to ensure children have access to the nutrition they need to succeed. This week, the House was able to pass a continuing resolution that preserves and expands food assistance for children. This will allow schools to continue their vital work of providing meals. I won’t stop fighting until we eradicate child hunger.”
Last month, Rep. Omar co-led a letter to condemn USDA’s decision to end the school meal waiver program. She has been working with her colleagues to ensure USDA would extend the waivers through the fiscal year 2021. In March, Rep. Omar passed the MEALS Act, a bill that directly authorized these school meal waivers and protected students’ access to school meal benefits during the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, she has previously sponsored legislation to make school meals universal to all children.