USDA Expanding Child Eligibility During Coronavirus Pandemic

The USDA is trying to show flexibility on child eligibility for free meals.

“Typically, eligibility standards are a little bit different in the uncertain times that we have now USDA’s working to make sure that all kids have access to food during COVID-19,” said USDA Undersecretary Brandon Lipps. “And so we have maximized flexibilities that USDA to allow schools to set up what we call ‘open sites’ throughout this country.]

“We of course want to make sure those are focused in areas that are certainly our low income populations that folks to do need to provide any particular eligibility criteria,” Lipps continued.

He noted they are also trying to be flexible on how the meals are picked up.

“Obviously some concern as we’re being asked to shelter in place in many areas with children having to come out to pick up those meals and so we quickly gave a nation wide waiver to allow parents to be able top pick up those meals, and we’re giving the local sponsors discretion to determine how they are making sure that those meals are getting to children in need.”

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