Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue announced his agency has begun a collaboration to deliver food to a number of rural schools that are closed around the country. 

The USDA is partnering with the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty, McLane Global, PepsiCo, and several other partners to deliver nearly 1,000,000 meals to students in rural schools shut down by COVID-19. 

“Feeding children who are affected by school closures is a top priority for USDA, which is working together with private sector partners to deliver boxes of food to children in rural America who are affected by school closures,” Perdue says. “The agency and local providers are utilizing a range of innovative feeding programs to ensure children are practicing social distancing while still receiving healthy and nutritious food.” 

He says that USDA has already taken action to ensure children are fed in the event of school closings and will continue to waive restrictions and expand flexibilities across its programs. 

Jon Banner is President of the PepsiCo Global Foundation, who says millions of schoolchildren don’t know where their next meal will come from if schools close down. 

“In the face of this unprecedented crisis, the private sector must help ensure these students have access to nutritious meals,” Banner says.