The $900 billion emergency relief bill passed by Congress on Monday includes funding for struggling school nutrition programs.
The bill allocates funds to school meal programs based on the amount of reimbursement they received in 2019 and during the pandemic.
School nutrition programs have struggled with mounting costs and lower participation throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent survey by the School Nutrition Association (SNA) revealed that over half of survey respondents (52%) reported a financial loss last school year and 62% anticipate one this year.
“Throughout this pandemic, despite tremendous challenges, school nutrition professionals have ensured students' continued access to healthy school meals to fuel their academic achievement,” SNA President Reggie Ross said in a statement. “These efforts have come at an immense cost for school meal programs, which are facing increased expenses and declining revenue that threaten to cut into education budgets. SNA commends Congress for its work to address this urgent problem and will continue to advocate on behalf of these vital programs to ensure their sustainability moving forward.”
The bill is now being sent to President Trump, who is expected to sign it into law.