Statement attributable to Luis Guardia, President, Food Research & Action Center (FRAC)
WASHINGTON, January 7, 2022 — The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) is pleased the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the 2022 Summer Food Service Program reimbursement rates, which will provide schools an additional 25 cents per lunch and 14 cents per breakfast. USDA estimates this increase will provide an additional $750 million to support school meals across the country.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress gave USDA the authority to issue nationwide child nutrition waivers to address access and operational challenges created by the pandemic, allowing school nutrition programs, local government agencies, and nonprofit organizations to adapt as necessary to changes such as school closures and virtual learning. For instance, the Seamless Summer Option waiver for school year 2021-2022 allows all schools to offer meals at no charge to all students while receiving the higher Summer Food Service Program reimbursement rate.
Without these waivers, the child nutrition programs would not be able to adequately respond to the fallout from COVID19. The meals provided through the child nutrition programs have been critical to our nation’s pandemic response to childhood hunger and waivers will be needed as the nation recovers.
This is why FRAC and our national, state, and local partners are calling on Congress to extend USDA’s waiver authority beyond June 30, 2022. By doing so, the agency can help ensure the growing number of children at risk of hunger will get the nutrition they need during this unprecedented time.
See here for the updated Summer Food Service Program 2022 reimbursement rates.
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.