ICYMI: USDA Announces Partnership to Provide 1 Million Meals to Rural Children
WASHINGTON, D.C. | March 17, 2020
The coronavirus has led 72,000 schools to shut down operations, affecting nearly 40 million students. So, the Trump administration is taking action to ensure that school meals are reaching those in need.
Today, USDA announced it will be working with the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty, McLane Global, PepsiCo, and others to deliver nearly 1,000,000 meals per week to students at rural schools that have closed due to the coronavirus. This announcement follows Secretary Perdue’s action last week, which gave schools increased flexibility to continue providing meals at no cost to students in need during coronavirus-related school closures.
Read more below about USDA’s public-private partnership that will provide one million meals per week to rural children.
USDA Announces Feeding Program Partnership in Response to COVID-19
Collaboration will provide nearly 1,000,000 meals to rural children
(Washington, D.C., March 17, 2020) U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced a collaboration with the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty, McLane Global, PepsiCo, and others to deliver nearly 1,000,000 meals to students in a limited number of rural schools closed due to COVID-19:
“Feeding children who are affected by school closures is a top priority for President Trump and this Administration. USDA is working with private sector partners to deliver boxes of food to children in rural America who are affected by school closures,” said Secretary Perdue. “Right now, USDA and local providers are utilizing a range of innovative feeding programs to ensure children are practicing social distancing but are still receiving healthy and nutritious food. This whole of America approach to tackling the coronavirus leverages private sector ingenuity with the exact same federal financing as the Summer Food Service Program. USDA has already taken swift action to ensure children are fed in the event of school closures, and we continue to waive restrictions and expand flexibilities across our programs.”
“We are grateful to come alongside USDA, PepsiCo, and McLane Global to ensure that children impacted by school closures get access to nutritious food regardless of where they live. We know from first-hand experience that families with children who live in rural communities across the U.S. are often unable to access the existing food sites. Meal delivery is critical for children in rural America to have consistent access to food when school is out. This is one way we, as citizens of this great nation, can respond to our neighbors in need,” said Jeremy Everett, Executive Director, Baylor University Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty.
“McLane Global was proud to take part in the success of the summer Meals-2-You home delivery pilot program in 2019. It was a great opportunity to bring private industry best practices together with the USDA to combat rural hunger. Given the rapid disruptions driven by COVID-19, we can work together to swiftly take this model nationwide. McLane Global is ready to do its part to support the fight against hunger through this crisis,” said Denton McLane, Chairman, McLane Global.
“As schools around the country close, millions of schoolchildren now don’t know where their next meal is coming from. In the face of this unprecedented crisis, it’s critical that the private sector help ensure these students have access to nutritious meals,” said Jon Banner, Executive Vice President, PepsiCo Global Communications and President, PepsiCo Foundation. “PepsiCo is committing $1 million to help Baylor create a solution with USDA to identify children most in need and then we will help reach them with at least 200,000 meals per week—one way we are deploying our food and beverage resources to help those most vulnerable.”
Read USDA’s full press release HERE.