Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett (USVI) released the following statement regarding a reimbursement rate increase for National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program for the territory:
“Yesterday, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service published a notice in the Federal Register providing a 17 percent increase in the federal reimbursement rate for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) for Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“This increase in the reimbursement rate allows for the provision of more nutritious meals for students in the Virgin Islands. My bill, H.R. 1352 — the Federal School Meals Parity Act — would establish fair reimbursements for all in-school means and child nutrition programs. The impact of the federal rate reimbursement is wide-reaching and affects millions of children and their families, as well as the thousands of workers involved in producing, distributing and preparing the food provided by these programs.
“Because of the hard work of my office, the Department of Agriculture felt it appropriate to increase the reimbursement rate. It gives relief to the Virgin Islands Department of Education, which struggles to meet the needs of our students, given local budgetary constraints. This is indeed good news for the children of the Virgin Islands.”