Topeka, Kan. — Governor Laura Kelly sent a letter today urging Congressional leadership to extend federal Child Nutrition Waivers, which give schools more flexibility and resources to feed students during the summer and school year. The waivers are set to expire at the end of the month.
“The statistics are clear: without an extension of these waivers, more Kansas kids are going to go hungry, hurting their ability to succeed both in and out of the classroom,” Governor Laura Kelly wrote. “If we want our students to excel, we need to start by ensuring that they have reliable access to nutritional meals.”
The federal Child Nutrition Waivers provide students guaranteed access to meals throughout the year. Since they were established by Congress in 2020, these waivers have provided school meals at no additional cost to 30 million students nationally. If the waivers are allowed to expire, almost 10 million of those students would lose access to a guaranteed food source.
According to the nonprofit Feeding America, more than 120,000 Kansas kids are food insecure, yet 40% do not traditionally qualify for federal school nutrition programs. These waivers ensure Kansas children, regardless of their family’s ability to pay, can receive school breakfasts and lunches.
Governor Kelly emphasized the need to extend the Seamless Summer Option Waiver in particular.
“With the expiration of this waiver, some school districts will no longer be able to serve summer meals to students. The timing of this expiration is concerning because we know that the hunger crisis gets worse over summer months when children are not in school.”
Read the full letter here.