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Lankford Applauds USDA School Meal Waiver Extension

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today applauded the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) decision to allow summer meal programs to continue to operate into the fall, which will help ensure that all Oklahoma students receive two meals a day during the week regardless if they attend schools in person or virtually.

“Like the rest of the country, Oklahomans are still navigating the unique challenges brought on by COVID-19,” said Lankford. “While we’ve made progress slowing the spread, we are still managing the impacts of COVID on our daily lives. One of those effects includes school meal programs for our children. Many children across the state depend on the meals they receive during school and in after school programs. Without a waiver, all meal service must be done in a building with other students, which does not meet the need for children when their school has been forced to go online. I’m grateful President Trump and the USDA will allow these summer meal programs to ensure our children are fed. I am also grateful for the many nutrition non-profit partners and volunteers across Oklahoma who have used USDA’s flexibilities to step in and help meet the needs in our communities.”

In March, Lankford worked with USDA to facilitate an initial waiver that granted rule flexibility through June of this year. Earlier this month, he joined Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) in a letter to Secretary Perdue encouraging the extension of waiver flexibility to the 2020-2021 school year.