President Biden signed into law the Keep Kids Fed Act, passed by Congress. The Keep Kids Fed Act extends some of the federal Child Nutrition Program waivers that expired on June 30, provides increased reimbursements next school year to help school meal programs contend with skyrocketing food costs, and continues critical reimbursement rate increases for childcare providers.
It also extends waivers that eased eligibility restrictions on summer meal programs for children that have been in effect for the past two summers, and continues to allow some nutrition standard and meal service flexibilities for schools and childcare providers in the face of ongoing supply chain disruptions and pandemic uncertainties.
The Keep Kids Fed Act does not extend the federal universal school meal waivers through next school year, as anti-hunger and child welfare advocates across the country have urged.
“Hunger Free Vermont welcomes the passage of the Keep Kids Fed Act,” says Executive Director Anore Horton. “At the same time, we applaud the Vermont legislature and Governor Scott for passing and enacting Vermont’s Universal School Meals Act last month, which maintains breakfast and lunch for all students at no charge through the state’s education fund. Thanks to their action, and the efforts of thousands of Vermonters, we know that Vermont kids will not go hungry in school come September.”
The Universal School Meals Act ensures that all students in Vermont’s public schools have access to a healthy, nutritious breakfast and lunch daily, at no cost to themselves or their families, for the 2022-23 school year. Approved independent schools also have the option to opt-in to the program.
Hunger Free Vermont is committed to continue our advocacy to expand universal school meals provisions at the federal level, and to ensure that Vermont’s legislature makes the Universal School Meals Act permanent in 2023.
About Hunger Free Vermont: Hunger Free Vermont is a statewide nonprofit organization that works with state agencies and community groups to develop sustainable hunger solutions. Since 1993 Hunger Free Vermont’s outreach programs and advocacy have substantially enhanced Vermont’s nutrition safety net and increased access to nutritious foods. hungerfreevt.org.