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USDA Extends vital Summer Meals Programs following request of Rep. Rob Wittman

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Washington, August 31, 2020 | comments

WASHIGTON – Today, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced it will extend several flexibilities regarding USDA’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the Seamless Summer Option (SSO), also known as the Summer Meals Programs, program through as late as December 31, 2020. The flexibilities allow summer meal program operators to continue serving free meals to all children into the fall months to ensure students have access to meals during the COVID-19 recovery process.

This action from the USDA follows directly from Congressman Wittman’s personal letter to USDA Secretary Sunny Perdue from late July in which he urged the Department to extend of these vital programs through the timeframe laid out by the USDA in today’s announcement.

“I am so glad to see this announcement today from the USDA,” said Congressman Wittman. “This announcement follows my request from earlier this Summer to ensure all students in Virginia’s First Congressional District who depend on free and reduced school meal programs continue to receive meals throughout school closures and distance-learning programs related to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. I want to thank Secretary Perdue for this action and I also want to thank all educators and administrators who are assisting our students through these new and challenging times.”

“I applaud today’s announcement of the extension of the SFSP,”said Supervisor Kenny Boddye, Occoquan District, Prince William County Board of Supervisors. “Prince William County has a significant population of socio-economically disadvantaged students who rely on the program even during normal times, let alone during the economic and health challenges posed by COIVD-19. I am grateful that our Congressional delegation is committed to combatting food insecurity in our community, especially among our student population.”

“I appreciate our Congressional delegation’s support of Prince William families who may be facing food scarcity during this trying time,” said Prince William County School Board Member Lisa Zargarpur, Coles District.

Congressman Wittman’s continued work for educators, administrators, students, and hardworking Virginia families comes at a critical juncture with the start of the new academic school year approaching, negotiations over the next Coronavirus relief package, and millions of Americans still dealing with the economic impacts of COVID-19 on their household budget. Additional relief through the extension of SFSP would be a help to ease the burden of American families.

Click here to read Congressman Wittman’s letter from July 30 to the USDA.

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