Now, more than ever, School Nutrition Programs across North Carolina are critical to ensuring our children have access to healthy food. We appreciate the funding appropriated for School Nutrition Programs earlier this year. However, as the pandemic continues, School Nutrition Programs are in dire need of more financial support. The following requests, as made by the State Board of Education and Department of Public Instruction, are critical to ensuring School Nutrition Programs can continue serving our children nutritious meals that they need to learn and grow:
- $18,000,000 to use yellow school buses to deliver meals and non-digital instructional resources, and for mobile internet “hot spots.”
- Use “allotted average daily membership (ADM)” to offset enrollment decreases due to COVID-19.
- $44,500,000 for personal protective equipment for school faculty and staff, including School Nutrition staff.
The extension of SFSP/SSO waivers by USDA are also critical. However, we cannot to wait for Congress or the USDA to act before providing funding and flexibility to schools, and School Nutrition Programs in particular. The need is simply too great and too urgent.
Children need nutritious meals now, and School Nutrition Programs are striving to meet these needs. School Nutrition Programs have served more than 41 million meals since March 16.
Please call your legislators and ask them to support these critical requests when they return next week!