x
Breaking News
More () »

Federal pandemic food waivers set to expire leaving Arkansas students without free meals

When the COVID pandemic started, the USDA created nutrition waivers to help schools and youth organizations feed kids. The funding ends this week.

BRYANT, Ark. — On Monday, administrators of the Boys and Girls Club of Bryant found out they could lose crucial money that helps feed their kids.

This money, which has been a part of a federal pandemic grant, is about to expire.

"With everything that is going on in the world right now why do our kids need to suffer through this. Our kids need to eat," said Jordan Stramiello with the Bryant Boys and Girls Club.

When the pandemic started, the USDA created COVID nutrition waivers to help schools and youth organizations feed kids.

The funding ends this week and the Boys and Girls Club of Bryant is fighting for it to continue.

"The kids that we serve here at the Boys and Girls Club, many of them rely on these meals," said Stramiello.

Since the waivers began, the club has provided more than 13,200 meals to hundreds of students during their summer program.

Something they didn't have funding for previously.

"They would come to the club, and kids would either not bring a lunch and they wouldn't get to eat or they would come with half eaten lunches from the day before," said Stramiello.

If the waivers are not extended the club will be looking at other options to keep food on the table for kids this summer.

"We will have to go to sponsors, donors in the community to maybe help us fund this program," said Stramiello.

The Boys and Girls Club has sent letters to our state senators. They have not received a response about the waivers.

We reached out to the office of Senator John Boozman who is the ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. We did not hear back from his office.

We will update this article with new information as it becomes available.

Paid Advertisement