Nearly 12 million children in America live in households where they don’t have enough to eat, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). In response to the nationwide food insecurity issue, the USDA recently announced the government agency will extend waivers that provide free meals for children through Sep. 30, 2021.
The waivers help to provide local programs with the ability to distribute free meals to all children (regardless of family income) in safe ways. These include Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), Seamless Summer Option (SSO) and allows programs to offer bulk food pick-ups for for parents that cover multiple days of meals.
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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, said in a press release, “We will do everything we can to make sure children get access to healthy, nutritious meals regardless of their families’ financial circumstances.
Vilsack added, “Our child nutrition professionals are doing a heroic job ensuring kids across the country have proper nutrition throughout this public health emergency, often times with limited resources. USDA is committed to providing local operators with the flexibilities and resources they need to continue offering the best meal service possible to their children, given their day-to-day realities.”
Specific meal pick-up sites vary by region. These include settings such as churches, schools, parks, libraries and community centers. Learn more about free meals for children by visiting the USDA website here.