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Rep. Cleaver Condemns USDA Decision Not to Extend Nutrition Program Waivers For Kids Learning Remotely

Aug 21, 2020
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, United States Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO) released the below statement following the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) announcement that they would not extend waivers that allow the Summer Food Service Program and the Seamless Summer Option to operate during unexpected school closures.

“The decision from the USDA not to extend waivers that allow the Summer Food Service Program and the Seamless Summer Option to operate despite unexpected school closures is deeply disappointing to me and the families of tens of thousands of children in the Fifth District of Missouri. As the coronavirus pandemic rages on—with more than 1,000 Americans succumbing to the virus daily and another 50,000 contracting it just yesterday—our nation must be prepared for the possibility that some schools may be forced continue remotely for varying periods of time.

“Considering millions of American families rely on these critical nutrition programs to keep children from skipping meals and going hungry, it is the height of irresponsibility for the USDA to discontinue these waivers as many schools around the country remain closed. This forces parents and administrators to make an impossible choice between keeping children healthy, stopping the spread of the virus in our communities, and keeping food on the table for the most vulnerable kids. This is not an either-or situation. we can—and should--extend these waivers. If the Administration refuses to do so, Congress should pass legislation that leaves them no choice.”

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Emanuel Cleaver, II is the U.S. Representative for Missouri's Fifth Congressional District, which includes Kansas City, Independence, Lee's Summit, Raytown, Grandview, Sugar Creek, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Oak Grove, North Kansas City, Gladstone, Claycomo, and all of Ray, Lafayette, and Saline Counties. He is a member of the exclusive House Financial Services Committee; Chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy; member of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress; member of the Committee on Homeland Security; and a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. For more information, please contact Matt Helfant at 202-590-0175 or Matthew.Helfant@mail.house.gov A high-resolution photo of Congressman Cleaver is available here.