WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) applauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for providing flexibility to schools and sponsoring organizations for school meals and child nutrition. Earlier this month, Senator Tillis and his colleagues sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue urging the department to provide an extension of waivers to allow the Summer Food Service Program and the Seamless Summer Options.
“The shift to remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic has caused uncertainty for thousands of children who rely on school nutrition programs,” said Senator Tillis. “Thank you to Secretary Perdue and the USDA for providing flexibility for these important programs to ensure we can provide meals to students in need.”
Today, USDA announced an extension of waivers to allow the Summer Food Service Program and the Seamless Summer Options to continue to run through December 31, 2020, or until funding runs out. This includes:
- Allowing the Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Options meals to be served in all areas and at no cost;
- Permitting meals to be served outside of the typically-required group settings and meal times;
- Waiving meal pattern requirements as necessary; and
- Allowing parents and guardians to pick-up meals for their children.
The waiver extensions fall under the authorities Congress provided to USDA in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.