Congressman Steven Horsford Fights to Extend School Nutrition Programs

August 31, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. -- Congressman Steven Horsford (NV-04) has taken action to ensure students are able to access school nutrition programs this school year. He joined 110 Members of Congress in a letter urging Secretary Sonny Perdue of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to immediately reverse his decision to end the school meal waivers that have fed countless children in Nevada and across the country. While Secretary Perdue has extended these waivers through December 31, 2020, he does not accommodate for the uncertainty that students will face in 2021. Additionally, the letter responds to Secretary Perdue’s false claim that the USDA does not have the authority to issue these waivers. 

“While we continue to face the effects of this devastating pandemic, our schools have been a harbor for students and families needing food assistance. We must give schools the flexibility they need to continue providing for our community for the rest of the school year and guarantee children can get nutritious meals. We will not allow any child to go unfed,” said Congressman Steven Horsford. “I’ll work to ensure Nevadans have the resources they need to get through this pandemic.” 

"Many of our students rely on the meals they receive from school to keep them nourished so they can focus on learning," said Clark County School District Superintendent Dr. Jesus F. Jara. "We must continue assisting students with this fundamental need to ensure their education outcome is the best it can possibly be. We know that our entire community is struggling and we must continue to wrap our arms around our children." 

"School food service is critical for a large percentage of students in Nye County School District. Meal service prevents hunger in our most vulnerable children and provides them with the nutrition they require on a daily basis,” said Nye County School District Superintendent Dr. Warren Shillingburg. “Regular meals allow students to focus on the education we are providing and encourages school attendance." 

Congressman Horsford also cosponsored H.R. 7764, the Child Nutrition Relief Act of 2020, legislation that would extend existing COVID-19 school nutrition programs to the next school year. The emergency child nutrition waivers were established in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and have allowed for the delivery and transportation of meals to students. However, these waivers are set to expire on September 30, 2020. The Child Nutrition Relief Act of 2020 would extend the waivers to August 31, 2021. 

The bill text can be found here