USDA Makes It Easy for Hurricane-Hit Texas Schools to Feed Students

WASHINGTON, Sept. 12, 2017 – Schools reopening in hurricane-stricken areas of Texas will be allowed to provide meals through the National School Lunch Program to all students free of charge through Sept. 30.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has also granted these schools flexibilities with regard to what they serve and when they serve it, making it easier for them to feed students in hurricane-affected areas.   

“Texas and USDA are working together to support the recovery of those affected by this terrible storm,” Agriculture Acting Deputy Under Secretary Brandon Lipps said. “These special flexibilities are intended to make it as easy as possible to administer the school meals programs at this time to ensure that no child affected by this disaster goes hungry.”

The waivers Lipps highlighted today, which were approved in late August, were among a host of actions USDA took in recent days in response to the storm.  This includes flexibility to implement congregate feeding as is allowed in certain situations for summer feeding programs, to provide critical food assistance to those in need in areas where schools are not yet open.

Details of these and other waivers and flexibilities USDA announced in the wake of Hurricane Harvey can be found at

USDA's Food and Nutrition Service administers 15 nutrition assistance programs, including the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the Summer Food Service Program, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children,  and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which together comprise America's nutrition safety net. For more information on FNS assistance during times of disaster, visit


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Release No.
FNS 0004.17
FNS Office of the Chief Communications Officer (703) 305-2281