WASHINGTON, D.C. (WTVQ) – President Donald Trump has signed legislation into law that will give students more access to meals while they are not in school.
The package includes legislation sponsored by Congressman James Comer to protect nationwide access to school meals during COVID-19-related school closures.
Comer introduced the bill last week alongside Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Oregon). He serves as the top Republican on the Education and Labor Committee’s Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services.
The COVID–19 Child Nutrition Response Act will allow the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to waive requirements for children to gather at schools in order for school officials and food service personnel to distribute reimbursable, nutritious meals. The legislation will also provide local school officials with discretion over substitutions for meal components if supply or procurement is disrupted.
“Due to the closure of schools related to the coronavirus, countless families have expressed concern about where their child’s next meal will come from,” says Comer. “This legislation grants needed flexibility for school food service programs across the country to continue providing nutritious meals during this time of uncertainty. With passage of this critically important measure, children nationwide will be able to maintain access to the meals they rely on for their health and well-being. I want to thank and recognize all of our school employees who are working tirelessly to ensure that students get fed.”
Officials say nearly 22,000,000 children receive free or reduced-price lunches at their public schools. As of now, Kentucky schools remain closed for at least two weeks in attempt to halt the spread of the coronavirus.