US Department of Agriculture announced on Friday that it would adjust federal reimbursement rates and send nearly $750 million to school meal programs across the US to combat inflation and supply chain issues.
Why this matters: According to a survey, schools across the country have been challenged by lack of food and supplies, forcing them to order alternative meals. school nutrition association,
- “This adjustment is timely to ensure that the purchasing power of schools keeps pace with the cost of living,” the USDA said in a statement.
- “Schools that achieve these reimbursement rates can further increase their operating budgets during these difficult times, while giving families fewer meal expenses to worry about each school day.”
Description: The USDA said schools would receive an additional 25 cents per lunch as a way to combat higher meal costs and adjust reimbursement rates.
- The reimbursement rate usually does not increase during the academic year, but, due to the pandemic, the USDA has allowed schools to benefit from the highest rates available. Schools are now receiving 22% more for school lunches than under normal circumstances.
- In September, the USDA sent $1.5 billion to help schools struggling to serve healthy lunches to students.
What are they saying: “The USDA understands that balancing the pressures of the pandemic with the need to feed children healthy and nutritious food is a priority for schools across the country,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement. Statement.
- Beth Wallace, president of the School Nutrition Association, said, “School nutrition professionals continue to ensure that healthy food is available to students, but persistently difficult conditions have forced many last-minute menu changes and choices in the school cafeteria. limited the number of Statement,