Hoeven: USDA Issues Waiver Providing Nutrition Benefits to North Dakota Children in Need

WASHINGTON - Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, today issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved a waiver enabling families with children eligible for free and reduced price school meals in North Dakota whose schools were closed to receive Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) benefits. Today’s announcement, made possible under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, will benefit both Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households and non-SNAP households with children eligible for free and reduced price school meals whose schools were closed for at least five consecutive days during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We appreciate USDA providing this flexibility to help ensure that children receive the food and proper nutrition they need and would otherwise be receiving if they were at school,” said Hoeven. “Schools, families and work lives have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and today’s waiver will provide additional support.”

Today’s efforts are in addition to the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) eligibility waiver issued last month, 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.