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USDA Meals-to-You Program Extended


Meals-to-You intended to deliver one million meals per week to students at schools eligible for free or reduced-price nutrition was impacted by the introduction of COVID-19 restrictions.


U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dr. Sonny Perdue announced a major expansion of the program on May 5th.  USDA will partner with the Baylor University Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty, McLane Global and PepsiCo to serve five million meals per week to rural children in twelve states.  In addition to the states to be served, 23 additional states have requested to participate requiring an additional five million meals per week. 


Meals-to-You boxes contain ten breakfast and ten lunches to cover meals children would normally have received at school over a two-week period.  The meals meet most food service program standards and include milk, fruit cups, cereal, and other items.  Boxes are delivered to the homes of children via the U.S. Postal Service and other carriers. 


Secretary Perdue commented, “This program has been so successful and faced such high demand that we are expanding to five million meals a week”.  Dr. Jeremy Everett, Executive Director of the Baylor University Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty expressed gratitude to be part of an innovative team.  He noted, “We hope that the boxes of food will nourish children and communicate to their families that they are not alone in these tough circumstances.”


McLane Global has moved to a 24-hour production schedule to meet demand according to Denton McLane who regards the USDA-funded program as a “life line to thousands of students across rural America that would otherwise go hungry during this challenging period.”


It is hoped that hard-cooked eggs could be included in the meals given their nutritional value relative to cost.