Prevent Millions Of Children From Going Hungry!
11,377 signatures toward our 30,000 Goal
Sponsor: The Literacy Site
At least 10 million students have been denied access free meals. Tell the government to extend support for school meals!
It is a cold fact that in the richest country in the world, one in six children go to bed hungry every night1.
Millions of American kids have relied on school breakfasts and lunches for a significant amount of their caloric intake2. Unfortunately, public schools across the country have had to cut back on summer meals in an effort to fight inflation, and federal waivers for school lunches expired in June 20223.
Days before the expiration President Joe Biden signed The Keep Kids Fed Act, providing temporary $0.40 increase in reimbursement, which is far from enough to cover a meal at some schools4.
Before its expiration the USDA's federal waiver let all students eat for free regardless of their household's income5.
Now, at least 10 million students have been denied access free meals6.
School meals are important to improving academic achievement, school attendance, and overall health7 Help us call on the federal government to extend support for school lunch waivers and keep our kids fed!
- Kari Paul, MarketWatch (5 December 2018), "One in six children in America live in fear of hunger."
- No Kid Hungry, Share Our Strength (2022), "Facts About Child Hunger in America."
- Princess Jhané Stepherson, Action News Jax (26 July 2022), "USDA's federal waiver for free lunch expires, what does this mean for your kids lunch money?."
- Brittani Riddle, Food Research & Action Center (24 June 2022), "FRAC Applauds Congress for Quickly Passing Child Nutrition Provisions in the Keep Kids Fed Act, Calls on Congress to Make Additional Investments in the Child Nutrition Programs."
- Elizabeth Chuck, NBC News (18 June 2022), "Free school lunches for all set to end, creating 'perfect storm' amid high inflation."
- Wilfred Chan, The Guardian (4 June 2022), "Free US school lunches were a dream come true. Now, a hunger crisis looms for 10 million children."
- Division of Population Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (21 September 2021), "Eating Healthier at School."
To the United States Secretary of Agriculture,
Schools are responsible for serving students healthy meals, but national supply chain disruptions and labor shortages have severely impacted the financial and operational sustainability of school meal programs.
These issues have left school nutrition teams short-staffed and with many menu items in short supply. Schools are sometimes forced to find new vendors or make trips to local grocery stores for necessary food and supplies. This results in reduced choice and reduced nutritional value for schoolchildren.
Millions of American kids have relied on school breakfasts and lunches for a significant amount of their caloric intake. Unfortunately, public schools across the country have had to cut back on summer meals in an effort to fight inflation, and federal waivers for school lunches expired in June 2022.
School nutrition directors are already planning menus, writing bids and placing orders for the coming year. With no sign of disruptions easing, uncertainty regarding waiver status and reimbursement rates is hampering the integral bid process.
Meal programs and their suppliers urgently need the assurance of waiver extensions through the next year and the security of continued regulatory flexibility to support meal service for students.
Section 2202(a) of the FFCRA permits the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a waiver for all states for the purposes of providing meals under the child nutrition programs or to ensure continuity of program operations.
I implore you to extend the school lunch waivers through 2023 and keep millions of American children from going hungry.