Bonamici Statement on Coronavirus-Related School Closures in Oregon
WASHINGTON, DC [03/13/20] – Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) issued the following statement after it was announced that school in Oregon will close from Monday, March 16 through Tuesday, March 31 because of the COVID-19 pandemic:
“Temporarily closing schools is a difficult decision, and I know it was not taken lightly. Protecting public health in the midst of this pandemic is our shared priority and responsibility.
“But working families are also facing difficult decisions: stay home with your kids and lose a paycheck? Ask grandparents to help even though they are vulnerable? No family should be forced to make these choices.
“We know that families who are struggling with food or housing insecurity, or who are working low-wage jobs, will be disproportionately affected by school closures. We must come together now to support students, families, and our community.
“The House has just put forward legislation that will help families affected by coronavirus.
“Importantly, the package includes my bipartisan proposal to give USDA and states the flexibility they need to help schools and districts across our nation deliver meals to students during closures caused by COVID-19. It also includes paid emergency leave, enhanced unemployment protections, additional provisions to address food insecurity, and free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs it.
“I will continue to do all I can to support Oregon’s students, teachers, and families to make sure everyone is able to do all they can to stay safe and healthy.”
Bonamici’s bipartisan COVID-19 Child Nutrition Response Act (HR 6203) will create a nationwide waiver authority, allow school officials to distribute food in any number of settings across all nutrition programs, and allow for flexibility on meal components if food supply or procurement is disrupted.