Federal Emergency Food Security Measures in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
March 30, 2020
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was passed on March 18, 2020. FFCRA contains important measures that enhance the effectiveness of federal nutrition programs during the coronavirus pandemic. This fact sheet highlights key provisions of FFCRA and USDA actions that impact the Child Nutrition Programs, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. When possible the relevant section of FFRCA is provided. Links to key USDA guidance documents are also provided.
22 million students participate in the free and reduced-price lunch program and 12.5 million students rely on the free and reduced-price breakfast program. With the pandemic forcing the closure of schools, these children are at greater risk for food insecurity. However, several child nutrition programs are active when schools experience unexpected closures. These programs include the Summer Food Service Program, the Seamless Summer Option, and the Child and Adult Care Food Program. In response to the pandemic, the USDA and FFCRA have taken important steps to adapt these programs to protect children from food insecurity.