Skip to Main

June 23, 2022

Pressley Applauds House Passage of Keep Kids Fed Act to Extend Critical School Meal Flexibilities

Pressley Has Led Calls to Extend USDA Nutrition Waivers That Have
Helped Feed Millions of Children

Floor Speech (YouTube)

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) issued a statement applauding the House’s passage of the Keep Kids Fed Act, legislation to extend the United States Department of Agriculture’s child nutrition waiver authority, which has allowed millions of children in Massachusetts and across the nation to access free and healthy school meals during the pandemic. The current waiver authority had been set to expire on June 30 and will now be extended through September 30.

“No one should know hunger and no parent should know the heartache of putting their child to sleep with an empty belly. With food insecurity on the rise in Massachusetts and across the country, we should be using every tool at our disposal to keep our children and families fed as we weather the lingering impacts of this pandemic.

“The USDA’s child nutrition waiver authority has helped feed millions of children daily, including thousands in the Massachusetts 7th, which is why inaction was not an option. I’m glad that Congressional leadership has heeded our calls and that the House has taken necessary action to extend these flexibilities through the summer and avoid a hunger cliff that would have fallen hardest on our most vulnerable children. I was proud to support this bill on the House floor today and I urge the Senate to act without further delay.

“Like many crises facing our communities, the crisis of food insecurity is one that is entirely solvable, and I won’t stop fighting to eradicate hunger in America once and for all.”

Rep. Pressley has led calls in Congress to extend the USDA’s waiver authority and delivered remarks on the House floor last week in which she renewed those calls. A full transcript of her remarks is available here and the full video is available here.

Last month, Rep. Pressley, along with Congressman James P. McGovern (MA-02) and Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), wrote to Congressional leadership urging an extension of the USDA’s authority. At the onset of the pandemic, Rep. Pressley was successful in urging the USDA to utilize school nutrition flexibilities to ensure no student lost access to nutritious meals when schools shifted to remote learning, and she has led her colleagues in repeatedly urging USDA to extend school nutrition waivers through the end of the 2020-2021 school year.