With Federal funding now likely to be discontinued for a program that provided millions of free meals to school kids during the pandemic, school districts and organizations providing food are scrambling.
Gary Sinderson has our story.
Centre County Federal School Meal Waiver Program expected to be discontinued with the onset of covid in early 2020, the Federal Agriculture Department sponsored a waiver program for the cost of school meals to help keep kids fed regardless of the family’s economic background especially with many schools closed and students not having access to school meals.
Funding for the Federal program now set to be cut at the end of next month with meal providers worried about kids going hungry
“We are instructed to go back to 2019 levels. what that means is every area we go into, we have to pre-qualify that area. to be an area that has potentially 50 percent of the children would be receiving free and reduced at school during 2019”
Early on it was expected Congress would extend the waiver program for one more year now, alternate plans being made
“During covid we are able to reach more children. so let say we were going into state college to feed kids in need of food, as it stands right now,those area are not going to qualify this year”
For school districts, the waivers were crucial in providing a higher level of reimbursement per meal. And those meals already costing more with the increasing prices for food and meal items