Collaboration will provide nearly 1,000,000 meals a week to rural children
(Washington, D.C., March 17, 2020) â€“ U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced a collaboration with the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty, McLane Global, PepsiCo, and others to deliver nearly 1,000,000 meals a week to students in a limited number of rural schools closed due to COVID-19:
â€œFeeding children who are affected by school closures is a top priority for President Trump and this Administration. USDA is working with private sector partners to deliver boxes of food to children in rural America who are affected by school closures,â€ said Secretary Perdue. â€œRight now, USDA and local providers are utilizing a range of innovative feeding programs to ensure children are practicing social distancing but are still receiving healthy and nutritious food. This whole of America approach to tackling the coronavirus leverages private sector ingenuity with the exact same federal financing as the Summer Food Service Program. USDA has already taken swift action to ensure children are fed in the event of school closures, and we continue to waive restrictions and expand flexibilities across our programs.â€
â€œWe are grateful to come alongside USDA, PepsiCo, and McLane Global to ensure that children impacted by school closures get access to nutritious food regardless of where they live. We know from first-hand experience that families with children who live in rural communities across the U.S. are often unable to access the existing food sites. Meal delivery is critical for children in rural America to have consistent access to food when school is out. This is one way we, as citizens of this great nation, can respond to our neighbors in need,â€ said Jeremy Everett, Executive Director, Baylor University Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty.
â€œMcLane Global was proud to take part in the success of the summer Meals-2-You home delivery pilot program in 2019. It was a great opportunity to bring private industry best practices together with the USDA to combat rural hunger. Given the rapid disruptions driven by COVID-19, we can work together to swiftly take this model nationwide. McLane Global is ready to do its part to support the fight against hunger through this crisis,â€ said Denton McLane, Chairman, McLane Global.
â€œAs schools around the country close, millions of schoolchildren now donâ€™t know where their next meal is coming from. In the face of this unprecedented crisis, itâ€™s critical that the private sector help ensure these students have access to nutritious meals,â€ said Jon Banner, Executive Vice President, PepsiCo Global Communications and President, PepsiCo Foundation. â€œPepsiCo is committing $1 million to help Baylor create a solution with USDA to identify children most in need and then we will help reach them with at least 200,000 meals per weekâ€”one way we are deploying our food and beverage resources to help those most vulnerable.â€