The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced an extension of its summer meal waivers through June 30, 2022.
These waivers allow schools to forgo meal pattern requirements and serve meals to all children under 18 for free. They also allow parents and guardians to pick up meals for their children and enable meals to be served outside of the typically required group settings and meal times.
This is the fourth pandemic-related extension of the summer meal waivers. They were most recently set to expire on Sept. 30, 2021.
The School Nutrition Association commended the waiver extensions, saying they are necessary to continue to provide healthy meals to students safely during the pandemic.
“These waiver extensions will ensure hungry students can receive the meals they need to succeed next school year,” SNA President Reggie Ross said in a statement. “School nutrition staff can focus on safely serving students without having to worry about meal applications or collecting payments. Families struggling to make ends meet will know their children are nourished and ready to learn.”