Perdue on School Closures and Meals Pt 1

Perdue on School Closures and Meals Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I’m Bob Larson. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says USDA is being proactive with flexibilities that allow meal service during school closures to minimize potential exposure to the coronavirus.

He spoke at a House Appropriations hearing the other day about putting bipartisanship aside and getting behind efforts to make sure all schools, but especially low-income schools, have a way to still feed the children …

PERDUE … “But even more than that, what we told people, statutorily, our legal counsel tells us that we have to be asked in that way. What we’ve done, because we have to be asked, is we’ve sent the message to all the states that they can preemptively assume a positive response once they ask and once the waiver request comes in.”

Purdue says Washington, California and Alaska have already been allowed waivers …

PERDUE … “Certainly, when schools close, it doesn’t make sense to have to go to the waiver or to congregate feeding areas because that’s the purpose of closing schools. So, we’re waiving the congregate feeding activities certainly in those low-income areas.”

But, Perdue says he does not believe they have the legal authority to do that in ALL low-income areas …

PERDUE … “While we would love to do that, you know three years from now there’d be an OIG report saying we violated the law and you know how that goes. SO, we’re trying to do everything we can, statutorily, to do that.”

Tune in tomorrow for more on USDA’s efforts to feed students during school closures.

For more information on Food and Nutrition Service programs, go to … For more information about the coronavirus response across USDA …

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