Updated: September 21, 2023
Hawai‘i schools will receive more than $1.4 million in new federal funding from the US Department of Agriculture to support school meal programs.
US Senator Brian Schatz, who announced the funding, said this money will help schools provide students with nutritious meals, supporting families that face food insecurity and addressing food shortages amid supply chain challenges.
In July, Schatz secured a provision that would direct a temporarily increase in the school meal reimbursement rate for Hawai‘i while the USDA completes a study to update its “severely outdated” cost estimates for school meals, which Sen. Schatz said, have not changed since 1979.
“Kids throughout Hawai‘i rely on school meals so that they can stay healthy and succeed in school,” said Senator Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “This funding will help make sure that schools have the resources they need to continue providing their students with nutritious meals.”
The new funding follows a December 2021 announcement of nearly $5 million and a July 2022 announcement of more than $3 million from the USDA to help support school food programs in Hawai‘i.