The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will allocate close to $1 billion to assist school nutrition programs with purchasing American-grown items amid continued supply chain challenges, the Biden administration announced Thursday.
The funds, totaling $943 million, will be dispensed to school districts via state agencies and is supplemental to the $1 billion in procurement assistance that the USDA earmarked for school nutrition programs last December.
This announcement comes on the heels of the passage of the Keep Kids Fed Act, which was signed into law late last month and seeks to help school nutrition teams by extending some pandemic-era waivers, increasing meal reimbursement rates and more.
“The Biden administration knows that ongoing impacts of supply chain issues and rising food costs continue to be a challenge for many schools and child nutrition operators, and we are thankful for Congress stepping up to ease some of their burdens,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement. “On our end, this funding boost is yet another step the administration is taking to ensure every child who needs a meal, gets one.”