Hoeven: USDA Extends Area Eligibility Waiver for Summer Nutrition Programs

Waiver Helps Address Challenges of COVID-19, Ensure Children Can Access Healthy Meals Regardless of Location

WASHINGTON - Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, today issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) extended its area eligibility waiver under the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) to ensure local partners can continue to offer free meals to children throughout the summer, regardless of where they live. USDA initially issued the area eligibility waiver earlier this year, which removed the requirement of SFSP and Seamless Summer Option (SSO) open sites to only serve in areas where at least fifty percent of participants are eligible for free or reduced price meals. Click here for more information from USDA.

“This waiver has served as an important flexibility for nutrition programs in North Dakota, helping to ensure children can access healthy, nutritious meals despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Hoeven. “Extending this waiver, which lifts restrictions on which areas are eligible for open site meal service through USDA’s summer nutrition programs, will support families as we continue to safely re-open our economy.”