On June 25, 2002, President Joe Biden signed the Keep Kids Fed Act, extending partial school meal flexibilities through the next school year five days before they were set to expire. The Act continues some of the federal pandemic school nutrition waivers set to expire June 30. The $3 billion package is budget neutral, meaning it would not increase net federal spending.
Before the pandemic, meals were either free, reduced price, or full price to students. During the pandemic, the waivers allowed for all meals to be free. Now, the Act includes only free and full-price options.
The Act fully extends all waivers through the summer to allow meal deliveries and grab-and-go options for students. It also extends supply chain flexibilities and higher than pre-pandemic federal reimbursement rates through the 2022-2023 school year.
However, the Act excludes the flexibilities that had suspended eligibility requirements for free and reduced-price meal applications, thus ending the universal free meals that were available during the first two pandemic years.
Sources: NPR and K-12 Dive.