Keep Kids Fed Act: Update for Summer 2022 & SY22-23

Policy & Legislation
Best for
Advocates
No Kid Hungry Partners
School Nutrition Staff

New legislation extends the USDA's authority to issue nationwide waivers for Summer 2022 operations, provides more limited nationwide waiver authority for School Year 2022-2023, and offers additional per-meal reimbursement rates for one year.

Overview

 The Keep Kids Fed Act passed the Senate on Thursday, June 23rd following an amendment, and the amended bill was passed again by the House on Friday, June 24th. It was signed into law on Saturday, June 25th. For more on this development, please see our statement.
 
The Keep Kids Fed Act:

  Extends the US Department of Agriculture’s authority to issue nationwide waivers for Summer 2022 operations (through September 2022).

  • This would allow the USDA to extend waivers like the non-congregate and meal service time waivers for the Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Option.

  Allows the USDA to issue nationwide meal pattern waivers for all programs through June 2023.

  Provides the USDA with more limited authority to issue other no-cost nationwide waivers for School Year 2022-2023 (through June 2023).

  Increases the meal reimbursement rates for School Year 2022-2023, regardless of fee category or eligibility determination, by an additional:

  • 40 cents for each lunch served through the National School Lunch Program.
  • 15 cents for each breakfast served through the School Breakfast Program.
  • 10 cents for each meal served through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), including afterschool meals.

  Allows Tier II family day care homes participating in the CACFP to qualify for the higher Tier I reimbursement rates for July 2022 through June 2023.

  Confirms that waivers cannot be in effect past the expiration of USDA’s authority to grant those waivers.

  Directs the USDA to provide technical assistance to state agencies and schools to assist parents and school leaders with the transition to operations without waivers.

 

Unlike the version initially introduced, the Keep Kids Fed Act as passed does not eliminate the reduced-price category for school meals for School Year 2022-2023. This means that qualifying students for free or reduced-price school meals will work the same as it did pre-COVID.
 
We will monitor for USDA guidance on implementation and share more information as it is available. We understand that the timing is challenging with many summer meals programs already underway, and we stand ready to support our partners however we can.