USDA Extends Free School Meals Until June 2022

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today issued a broad range of flexibilities to allow school meal programs and childcare institutions across the country to return to serving healthy meals in fall 2021 as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to reopen schools safely. Several meal service flexibilities that enable social distancing are now extended through June 30, 2022. The waivers continue the Administration’s commitment to provide safe, healthy meals free of charge to children as the pandemic continues to threaten the food and nutrition security of our most vulnerable.

The Seamless Summer Option program (SSO) lets families pick up free food from their local school district, even if they do not qualify for free and ­reduced-price meals.

The U.S. Agriculture Department had extended the program until June 30, 2021, past its normal end date, due to the coronavirus pandemic, and then said last month that it would end on Sept. 30. Tuesday’s announcement said it would run through June 30, 2022, instead.

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