Hoeven Statement on USDA Extending Free Meals to Children Through Summer 2021

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it will extend current waivers to allow free meals for children through September 30, 2021. 

“Today’s announcement will help North Dakota school nutrition professionals and Summer Food Service Program providers adequately plan and prepare for how to best distribute meals throughout the summer months,” said Hoeven. “As we continue responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency, it’s important that children are able to access meals that are both healthy and nutritious. I asked Secretary Vilsack about this at his confirmation hearing and welcome the timely announcement from USDA.”  

This announcement extends current waivers which allow meals served through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option (SSO) to be available at no cost to children. The waivers were previously set to expire on June 30, 2021.