McGovern, Delauro Statement on Bipartisan, Bicameral Agreement on School Meal Waiver Extensions

WASHINGTON, DC – Chair of the House Appropriations Committee Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) and Chair of the House Rules Committee and Co-Chair of the House Hunger Caucus James McGovern (MA-02) today applauded the bipartisan House and Senate agreement on extending school meal waivers to keep schoolchildren fed.

“No child in this country should go hungry, period. I’m glad that leaders on both sides of the aisle came together to reach this agreement and avert a hunger cliff which would have left countless of our most vulnerable children and families without access to food this summer and into the school year,” said Chairman McGovern. “Over the summer, hunger gets worse because kids don’t have access to reliable breakfasts and lunches at school. I’m grateful for the leadership and work of Speaker Pelosi and Chairs DeLauro, Scott, and Stabenow for their relentless efforts to get this urgently needed agreement on flexibility and funding. School meals are every bit as critical to learning as textbooks, and this is an important step forward in the fight to end childhood hunger and ensure every child has access to free breakfasts and lunches at school.”

“I am very pleased that we have reached an agreement on extending school meal waivers until the summer’s end,” said Chair DeLauro. “I have said from the start that failure is not an option here, and we need to get a deal across the finish line. It is our responsibility to ensure that our children do not go hungry. School meal waivers have given stability to hundreds of children who prior to this program, likely did not know where their next meal was coming from. While I am disappointed that this agreement requires offsets, we are providing school workers, parents, and caregivers with the security of knowing that the children they care for will be fed.”

The bipartisan Keeping Kids Fed Act provides vital funding to ensure that children are fed healthy meals over the summer months, and that schools and daycares are supported throughout the school year.

According to a recent report from Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), these waivers have been a lifeline to schools, families, and children. From the 2021-2022 school year, school nutrition staff reported the waivers’ numerous benefits of offering meals to all students at no charge, regardless of household income.

  • 95 percent reported the nationwide waivers helped reduce child hunger in their school district.
  • 89 percent reported the nationwide waivers made it easier for parents and guardians.
  • 85 percent reported that the nationwide waivers eliminated any stigma associated with school meals.
  • 84 percent reported the nationwide waivers eased administrative work.
  • 82 percent reported the nationwide waivers supported academic achievement.