Waivers of free school meals that the federal government authorized in March 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic are scheduled to end on June 30 amid high inflation.
Why is this important: Experts warn that many families, faced with ending waivers and rising food and fuel prices, could struggle to feed their children if Congress and the Agriculture Department don’t do enough. quickly, according to NBC News.
- Schools still provide meals to many children and adolescents in low-income areas during the summer.
- Families may have to start paying for school meals again at a time when school districts are also preparing to raise the price of meals due to shortages and rising food prices straining their budgets, reports Erin Doherty of Axios.
What they say : “We continue to call on Congress to act immediately to expand USDA authority to grant child nutrition waivers beyond June 30 to give all children access to breakfasts and lunches. schools they need to grow and thrive and to support schools as they face unprecedented supply chain disruptions. and an increase in personnel costs,” Luis Guardia, president of the Food Research & Action Center, said this week.
The big picture: Several senators signed a letter this week urging congressional leaders to expand child nutrition waivers in all future packages.
- Many food pantries in cities across the country have seen an increase in demand amid a lack of donations and rising food prices, NPR reports.
Go further: Rising food prices are changing the way we eat and shop