Action Needed: Tell Congress to Extend the USDA’s Waiver Authority

Schools and local organizations are at risk of losing critical flexibility in how they reach kids with the food they need. Early in the pandemic, Congress gave the USDA the authority to issue child nutrition waivers so that schools and local organizations could adapt their meal programs and feed kids in ways that work best for their communities. But unless Congress takes immediate action, their ability to continue doing so is in danger. That’s because the waivers expire on June 30 even though the challenges school meal programs are facing won’t be over by then.

We need your help. The USDA needs authority from Congress to extend waivers for the summer months and through the 2022-2023 school year. Join us on Thursday, February 24 for a day of action and urge Congress to act now.

Here are three things you can do on February 24:

  1. Learn: Get up-to-speed about the role of child nutrition waivers in keeping kids healthy and fed during the pandemic. Click here to learn more.
  2. Send: Write to your Members of Congress and urge them to give USDA the ability to extend these critical child nutrition waivers. Click here to submit a pre-written, customizable email.
  3. Share: Spread the word on social media and encourage your networks to contact Congress too! Click here to send a tweet to your Members of Congress and share the images and messages below on your social channels.
    • #ChildNutrition waivers help schools feed kids in ways that work for their community. But without intervention, these waivers are going to expire. Tell Congress to authorize the USDA to grant nationwide waivers through the 2022-23 school year.
    • National #ChildNutrition waivers that made it possible for schools and local organizations to adapt their programs so they could still reach kids with the food they need. But without intervention, those waivers will expire. Learn more and take action:

P.S. If you are interested in becoming a Champion Advocate, a Chicagoland wide network of advocates building a grassroots movement to end hunger, please email Molly Dubow, Associate Manager of Advocacy at to be added to the listserv. Advocates receive monthly legislative updates, action alerts, webinar invitations and more.