Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option will continue serving free meals to students through December 31, 2020. Today’s announcement grants flexibility to the summer meal programs, helping to ensure children continue to have access to healthy and nutritious food this fall, regardless of whether they attend school in person or virtually.

Senator Hoeven recently joined a letter sent by 20 senators to USDA Secretary Perdue requesting child nutrition flexibilities be granted to schools this fall.

“We appreciate USDA extending this waiver through the end of the year to provide relief to our schools, families and communities,” said Hoeven. “As schools in North Dakota, and across the country, work hard to ensure a safe return to school, this announcement will enable children to receive nutritious food whether attending school in the classroom or remotely.”