Release | August 18, 2020

Mission: Readiness Applauds Carbajal-Bacon Letter to USDA

Mission: Readiness responds to the bipartisan letter written to the USDA to extend school meal waivers

Today, Mission: Readiness applauded Representatives Carbajal and Bacon for leading a bipartisan letter to USDA urging action to maintain kids’ consistent access to fresh and nutritious foods.

With the full support of Mission: Readiness, fourteen Members of Congress, who are also US military veterans, sent a letter to Secretary Perdue requesting that the USDA renew waivers enabling the continued implementation of the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the Seamless Summer Option (SSO), while also waiving the Area Eligibility Requirement in those programs, throughout the national emergency declaration during the entirety of the COVID-19 pandemic. These waivers give our educators and communities the additional flexibilities needed to continue to serve meals to children at school and allow efficient meal distribution for schools with plans for remote or hybrid learning days.

The letter states that as “U.S. military veterans, we understand that the security of our nation is directly tied to the strength of our people.” The letter continues by stating a position that Mission: Readiness has been raising for over a decade: consistent access to fresh and nutritious food “is critical for kids to grow up to be healthy and prepared for any career they choose, including the military.” Mission: Readiness has been working throughout the pandemic to urge policymakers to ensure that all children have consistent access to fresh and nutritious food year-round, by modernizing the meals programs to reach more children through innovations like meal delivery when transportation to a meal site is not available, training for meal preparers to safely package meals for distribution and integration of local foods into meal offerings. Continuing these waivers is essential in addressing the challenges of the pandemic, but can be used as a model to increase access to critical meal programs in the long term.

Mission: Readiness thanks Representatives Carbajal and Bacon for their leadership in urging USDA to maintain access to school meals.


  1. National