Letter to Tom Vilsack, Secretary of U.S. Department of Agriculture - Buena Vista School Food


Date: May 12, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Secretary Tom Vilsack

U.S. Department of Agriculture

1400 Independence Ave., SW

Washington, DC 20250

Dear Secretary Vilsack:

I am writing to request that the U.S. Department of Agriculture work with the State of Michigan to ensure that the children of Buena Vista, constituents in Michigan's Fifth Congressional District, have access to the food they desperately need.

On May 6, 2013, the Buena Vista School District, located in Buena Vista Township, MI, abruptly closed its schools because it could not meet its payroll. Subsequently, over 400 students have been out of school for a week. As of today, the school district has not reopened or announced if, or when, classes will resume.

This situation is compounded by the fact that 91 percent of students in the Buena Vista schools receive federal food assistance through free and reduced lunch programs. As you know, these programs help ensure that students receive adequate nutrition by providing meals to children who are not able to afford them. According to the State of Michigan, 388 students in Buena Vista receive free food assistance and seven receive reduced-price meals. As these students are not in school and a plan has not been announced by the state to resume classes, these children are lacking access to the food that they need.

I ask that you work with the State of Michigan to explore all potential programs and options to ensure the students of Buena Vista continue to receive the food assistance they require. We need to find an avenue to ensure these children receive the food they need. I look forward to working with your office.


Dan Kildee