Public schools served tens of millions of emergency meals in April, mostly often in drive-through lanes, to low-income children after coronavirus closures ended cafeteria service, said a survey released on Monday. Nonetheless, roughly half of the 1,894 districts taking part in the School Nutrition Association survey reported a drop-off of at least 50 percent in meals served. (No paywall)
On Wednesday, two days after a federal court overturned a Trump administration regulation on school meals, an association of school food directors asked Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue for "quick action to restore school meal flexibilities."
The Trump administration's decision to delay and dilute rules calling for less sodium and more whole grains in school meals was overturned by a federal judge in Maryland, said the nonprofit legal organization Democracy Forward on Monday. "Our victory ensures that school lunches will be healthier for 30 million children," said the group on social media.
The USDA has issued waivers to 43 states that make it easier for schools to provide food to low-income children who lost access to free or reduced-price meals due to coronarvirus closures, said a spokesman on Wednesday. An anti-hunger group called for more flexible treatment and speedy handling of the burgeoning number of applications for food stamps. (No paywall)
The government would provide lunch money for low-income children shut out of school meals by COVID-19 closures under the "families first" bill proposed by House Democrats. The bill would provide an additional $1 billion for other public nutrition programs. (No paywall)
After years of increases, the number of low-income children eating free or reduced-price breakfast at school plateaued at 12.4 million during the 2018-19 school year, said the Food Research and Action Center, an anti-hunger group.
The Trump administration proposed a 29 percent cut in food stamps on Monday, to be achieved by requiring more recipients to work at least 20 hours a week and by providing some benefits in the form of a box of food instead of letting people buy food themselves at grocery stores. The White House also asked Congress for stricter rules for access to free meals for low-income children at public schools.
Two weeks ago, the USDA said that up to 982,000 children would lose automatic access to free meals at school under its plan to tighten SNAP eligibility rules. Now a study by the Urban Institute says an additional 1.05 million children would be affected indirectly because they attend schools in low-income areas that serve meals for free to all students.
The Trump administration said on Wednesday that up to 982,000 children would lose automatic access to free meals at school under its plan to tighten SNAP eligibility rules. Brandon Lipps, deputy agriculture undersecretary, said the impact would be minimal because most of the children would qualify for a free or reduced-price meal if their parents filed the necessary paperwork.
The Trump administration proposal to tighten eligibility rules for food stamps “will push struggling families and children further into poverty, and we strongly urge USDA to rescind it immediately,” said the 55 members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Wednesday.