Statement on Reversal of USDA Decision to Extend School Meal Waivers
WASHINGTON—Rep. Ilhan Omar released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reversed their decision to extend waivers that will allow states and schools the flexibility to more easily operate emergency summer meal programs until the end of this year. Last week, she co-led a letter to condemn USDA’s decision to end the school meal waiver program. She worked with her colleagues to ensure USDA would extend the waivers. Previously, Rep. Omar sponsored 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 sponsored legislation to make school meals universal to all children.
“I am pleased USDA has decided to reverse their decision to extend school meal program waivers until the end of the year. It is critical that during this unprecedented time, we lift any barriers to children receiving school meals. As we know, many children rely on school meals to curb hunger. For many, it is the only meal they receive during the day. Although this is an important step forward, we must make certain that USDA extends waivers until the end of the 2020-2021 school year. I will continue to work to ensure all children can receive the nutrition they need to succeed.”