Pangelinan Seeks Increased USDA School Lunch Funds

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Guam – In an effort to gain increased federal funding for the island’s school lunch program a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed between the Legislature’s Office of Finance and Budget (OFB) and the Guam Department of Education aimed at developing a cost analysis showing just what those costs are.

The MOU was proposed by Senator Ben Pangelinan who is seeking increased federal reimbursement payments for Guam’s school lunch program. It was signed yesterday [Wednesday] and it will provide technical assistance from OFB in developing a cost analysis report of the local School Lunch Program, which will be provided to the GDOE and serve as the justification in seeking an increase in the federal reimbursement rate for the National School Lunch Program.

Read the MOU

In a release, Pangelinan says that during his recent visit to Washington, D.C. he met with the USDA’s Under Secretary for Food & Nutrition, Kevin Concannon. Pangelinan says he plead Guam’s case for increased funding

Pangelinan says Guam’s reimbursement rates now are based on the average cost of preparing school lunches in the 48 states, where the cost to prepare school meals is lower than on Guam. The aim of the cost analysis report is to prove that to USDA.

The Senator is quoted in his release as saying that: “The cost analysis report to be produced has the potential to increase the federal reimbursement for the local school lunch program.  Our school children and their parents who utilize the program will be the primary beneficiaries of this effort. We are all stakeholders in the GDOE and should seek every avenue in providing as much support to them, both financial and non-financial”.