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FFCRA: School Meals, SNAP, and Food Security Measures

Learn how the FFCRA provides for continuing school meal service during school closures.
Published: April 1, 2020

The Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA), which was signed into law on March 18, contains provisions that affect school meals and other food security measures, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). NEA is advocating for additional funds to help stabilize workers, families, and the economy.


  • $8.8 billion in additional support for Child Nutrition programs to fund the school meals provisions from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and flexibilities to ensure children receive meals while out of school; and $15.5 billion in additional support to fund the provisions for SNAP in the Act, including projected increase in SNAP enrollments due to business closures and job losses, i.e.:
    • Emergency SNAP assistance for families with children who would have received free or reduced-price school meals if the COVID-19 emergency had not closed their schools
    • Nationwide school meal waivers from the Department of Agriculture that eliminate paperwork and increase schools’ flexibility at this time
    • Allows child and adult care centers to operate as feeding sites, waiving meal pattern requirements if COVID-19 disrupts food supply
    • Suspends the time limit for participation in SNAP during the period from April 1, 2020 until the health emergency ends (specifically, until one month after the Secretary of Health and Human Services has lifted the health emergency declaration)
    • $500 million for Women Infants and Children (WIC) program to provide nutritious foods to low-income pregnant women and mothers with young children, should the women lose their jobs due to the COVID-19 emergency

For additional guidance on ensuring students’ access to school meals during the pandemic, please see COVID-19 and School Meals, COVID-19 and Child Nutrition, and COVID-19 and Child Nutrition: Do’s and Don’ts on NEA’s website.


• $450 million in assistance for community food banks April 2020


• $200 million to Puerto Rico and the territories for food assistance during the COVID crisis


• $100 million to ensure that tribal communities receive food and to ensure facilities have the equipment and capacity to meet increased demand

For more information, contact Christin Driscoll, federal lobbyist, NEA Government Relations, at [email protected]

NEA provides guidance and resources for returning to classrooms safely, and with an emphasis on racial and social justice.

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The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.