Ahead of June 30 deadline, Rep. Axne joins bipartisan effort to push House leadership to feed students at school

This week, Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) joined a bipartisan effort pushing House leaders from both parties to act urgently to expand the capacity of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to give give American schools the flexibilities they need to ensure American students are nurtured.

These waivers have been a lifeline for school districts looking to provide healthy meals to students, address supply chain issues and address rising food costs.

In a letter led by Representatives Abigail Spanberger (VA-07) and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) and sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, members urged leaders of Congress to act quickly before a critical deadline of June 30, 2022 – when the 12 waivers currently in place, as well as the USDA waiver authority, are due to expire. Specifically, they called on Congress to pass their bipartisan School Meals Flexibility Act, which now has more than 90 cosponsors, including Rep. Axne.

“We are less than two weeks away from the June 30, 2022 expiration of the USDA infant nutrition waivers,” the members said in the letter. “These waivers have been essential for schools across the country to feed children throughout the COVID-19 pandemic – and they remain essential as we move beyond COVID-19.”

The letter continued, “During a difficult time for many families, the last thing parents should worry about in the coming months is the rising costs of school lunches for their children – a reality that school districts face to meet their already stretched budgets. Accordingly, we urge you to introduce the Keeping School Meals Flexible Act, which has more than 90 cosponsors and bipartisan support. With days to go, Congress must act with the speed required by this situation. We cannot leave children, schools and parents behind.

Click here to read the letter, or read the full text of the letter below:

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy,

We are less than two weeks away from the June 30, 2022 expiration of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) infant nutrition waivers. These waivers have been essential for schools across the country to feed children throughout the COVID-19 pandemic – and they remain essential as we move beyond COVID-19.

The waivers in place provide schools with greater reimbursements for school meals, which is particularly critical in times of rising costs. They provide school food authorities with flexibilities in purchasing options, which is critically important in the face of supply chain challenges. They provide options for parents to pick up meals for their kids during the summer months – the hungriest time of year for kids. Most importantly, they give student food managers the flexibilities they need to ensure every child is fed.

Each of us has heard desperate pleas from schools and parents in our rural, urban, and suburban districts, urging Congress to expand these waivers. During a difficult time for many families, the last thing parents should worry about in the coming months is the rising costs of school lunches for their children – a reality that school districts face in order to stay within their budgets. already tight.

Accordingly, we urge you to introduce the Keeping School Meals Flexible Act, which has more than 90 cosponsors and bipartisan support. With days to go, Congress must act with the speed required by this situation. We cannot leave children, schools and parents behind.

Thank you for your attention to this important and urgent matter.

###

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: