Hoeven: USDA Extends Free Meals for Children for Entire 2020-2021 School Year

BISMARCK, N.D. - Senator John Hoeven, chairman 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 this week that it will extend flexibilities to allow free meals for children through the entire 2020-2021 school year. The agency is providing the flexibilities under the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the Seamless Summer Option (SSO), and with today’s announcement children will continue to have access to healthy and nutritious food through June 30, 2021.

“USDA’s extension of these flexibilities through the end of the school year will help ensure that children will continue to have access to healthy, nutritious food,” said Hoeven. “We appreciate USDA for providing these flexibilities and all the school nutrition professionals in North Dakota, who work tirelessly to provide students with these meals.” 

Earlier this year, Senator Hoeven joined a letter sent by 20 senators to USDA Secretary Perdue requesting child nutrition flexibilities be granted to schools. In August, USDA announced it had extended the flexibilities to provide free meals through the end of 2020.