Statement attributable to Luis Guardia, President, Food Research & Action Center (FRAC)
WASHINGTON, December 17, 2021 — The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) applauds the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for providing much-needed assistance to help schools respond to supply chain disruptions.
This funding will help school meal program operators offset recent challenges with supply chain issues and accelerate their efforts to provide continued support to families experiencing food insecurity, especially for Black, Latinx, and Native American households who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
USDA plans to provide $1 billion for schools to purchase food for their meal programs and another $300 million for states to purchase foods to be distributed to schools through USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation, a government corporation that was created in 1933 to stabilize, support, and protect farm income and prices. The agency will also contribute $200 million for cooperative agreements to purchase local foods for schools with a focus on buying from historically underserved producers.
School meals are a critical resource for struggling families who are being impacted by the pandemic. It will take years for these families to recover from this public health and economic crisis, but this is a step in the right direction as we continue to build on what we know works in order to fuel children’s health and learning.
FRAC applauds Secretary Vilsack for his ongoing commitment to supporting school meal programs and looks forward to working with schools and state advocates to ensure students have the nutrition they need with this new investment.
The Food Research & Action Center improves the nutrition, health, and well-being of people struggling against poverty-related hunger in the United States through advocacy, partnerships, and by advancing bold and equitable policy solutions. To learn more, visit FRAC.org and follow us on Twitter and on Facebook.