WASHINGTON, D.C., March 9, 2022 – "The failure to include the extension of the child nutrition waivers in the omnibus spending bill released today by Congress will reverberate across the nation in schools, community centers, afterschool and summer programs and child care centers. Millions of children will face a hunger cliff when they lose access to school, summer, afterschool and child care meals on July 1, with Black, Latinx and Indigenous populations and children in rural communities being hit the hardest. Programs also will take another financial hit putting them at risk for long-term sustainability.

"Since the beginning of the pandemic, our organizations have worked tirelessly to ensure that children have access to meals through child nutrition programs. Together, we have called on Congress to extend the waiver authority for another school year to support children and families as they recover from the educational, health and economic impacts of the pandemic.

"We continue to push lawmakers to support schools and program operators as they work diligently, despite ongoing supply chain and labor shortage challenges, to provide children much-needed meals and work to overcome the educational, as well as social and emotional impacts that they are seeing in the children that they serve.

"This is critical. Research reinforces that when children go hungry, it has profound and long-term consequences on their physical health and development, their ability to learn and future economic success.

"We urge Congress to include child nutrition waiver authority through the 2022-2023 school year in the omnibus bill before its final passage."

AASA, The School Superintendents Association
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Afterschool Alliance
American Commodity Distribution Association
American Heart Association
Association of Education Service Agencies
Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Bread for the World
Center for Science in the Public Interest
Children’s Defense Fund
Feeding America
Food Research & Action Center
First Focus on Children
International Fresh Produce Association
National Education Association
National Farm to School Network
National PTA
National Recreation and Park Association
National Rural Education Advocacy Consortium
National Rural Education Association
Save the Children
School Nutrition Association
Share Our Strength
Urban School Food Alliance
YMCA of the USA


For Media Inquiries:

Arielle Beer: 202.785.7902; arielle.beer@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and stroke.org