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Government and Politics

Ohio hunger advocates want to address missed meals on snow days
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a rule that prohibits USDA funded meals from being delivered off of school grounds

Andy Chow
Kevin Concannon with the United States Department of Agriculture says superintendents, principals and others say they struggle with the decision to cancel school when they know it means some kids won't have access to healthy food.
Courtesy of U.S. Department of Agriculture
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In The Region:
Thousands of Ohio families had to find different ways to feed their kids after multiple snow days cut them off from the usual free or reduced meals. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow talked to a federal official to find out what can be done to address this issue.
LISTEN: No clear solution to address missed meals on snow days

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The tough winter weather forced hundreds of schools to close repeatedly in January and February. Some schools racked up more than 15 snow days. That left thousands of students, who usually depend on free and reduced price meals from their schools, to feed themselves in different ways.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a rule that prohibits USDA-funded meals from being delivered off school grounds. Hunger advocates have said lifting this rule could help get food to these kids during snow days.

Kevin Concannon is the USDA undersecretary of Food and Nutrition Service. Concannon says the department is working on possibly addressing the issue but so far there’s no clear solution.

“I know that’s been brought to our attention by school superintendents and principals and others who say they struggle with a decision to cancel school weather-wise when they know that it means that kids, among other impacts, may not have access to healthy food that day.”

Concannon notes that there have been waivers created in the past that allow states to move meals off-site in the event of extreme heat.
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