Keep Kids Fed Act

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Keep Kids Fed Act

On June 25, Congress passed the Keep Kids Fed Act. Led by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Stabenow (D-MI) and Ranking Member Boozman (R-AR) and House Education and Labor Chairman Scott (D-VA) and Ranking Member Foxx (R-NC) this rare, bipartisan, bicameral agreement includes $3 billion to provide relief to school meal programs and other providers beyond the June 30 expiration date of child nutrition waivers without extending all of them. 

Specifically, the bill provides the following assistance: 

  • Increase federal reimbursement rates: 40 cents per meal for lunch and 15 cents per meal for breakfast, above the annual inflationary adjustment scheduled for July 1
  • Extend the USDA's authority for all waivers for 2022 summer meal programs
  • Extend the USDA's authority for no-cost waivers for SY22-23, including those for schools unable to meet nutrition standards due to supply chain disruptions and to reduce administrative and reporting burdens   

On June 23, AASA released a statement with four organizations expressing our support for the package. Most notably for schools, the Seamless Summer Option Waiver - which allowed districts to serve meals to all students at no cost - was not extended. Schools must return to the Free and Reduced Price Lunch Model. 

Here is a breakdown of what waivers USDA has the authority to issue: 

WAIVER

Summer

(Until Sept. 2022)

School 2022-23 (Until June 2023)

Area Eligibility

Yes

No

Meal Pattern Requirement

Yes

Yes

Parent/Guardian Pick Up

Yes

Yes

Non-Congregate Setting

Yes

Yes

Meal Service Times

Yes

Yes


It is important to note that waivers for the summer are only available for the Seamless Summer Option and Summer Food Service Program. The waivers are not applicable for summer schools operating the National School Lunch Program.  

Although USDA now has the authority to issues these waivers, they still must do so. We anticipate USDA will issues these waivers quickly but provide caution that none of these waivers are available until USDA takes the necessary actions. Once USDA issues the waiver and guidance, states will need to opt-in and create the necessary procedures.