Proposed Changes to SNAP Could Leave Nearly 1 Million Children Without Access to Free School Meals – FRAC

By Food Research & Action Center | Originally published on October 17, 2019

The Trump administration has reopened the public comment period regarding its proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Newly disclosed data that the USDA should have released earlier shows that, in addition to eliminating vital food assistance for 3.1 million people, the proposed changes could also take away free school meals from nearly 1 million children. Read the following statement from the Food Research & Action Center and use their comment platform to speak out against this cruel attack on low-income families.

A surprise release of data that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) should have disclosed earlier underscores the deep harm of its proposed rule to limit access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): eliminating food assistance for 3.1 million people and jeopardizing free school meals for nearly 1 million children.

Children who live in households that receive SNAP benefits are directly certified (automatically eligible) to receive free school breakfast and lunch. While the initial estimate showed that the rule could jeopardize more than 500,000 children’s access to free school meals, the new USDA analysis states that as many as 982,000 children could be impacted, with 497,000 children moving from free to reduced-price meals, and 40,000 completely losing eligibility for both free and reduced-price school meals. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) noted in a statement, “Even for those who remain eligible, forcing low-income families to navigate the burdensome paperwork will inevitably lead to eligible children losing access to a critical source of daily nutrition.”

If this rule is enacted, children will be hungry at home and school. Since childhood hunger is linked to academic struggles, difficulties focusing and concentrating, mental health disorders, and increased behavioral referrals, many schools would struggle to meet the educational, health, and mental health needs of the students who lose SNAP benefits and as a result, access to free school meals.

The administration has reopened the public comment period for 14 days. FRAC has a comment platform on its website where people can submit comments opposing this deeply flawed proposed rule. The final day to comment is November 1.

The Food Research & Action Center is the leading national nonprofit organization working to eradicate poverty-related hunger and undernutrition in the United States.

9 Comments on “Proposed Changes to SNAP Could Leave Nearly 1 Million Children Without Access to Free School Meals – FRAC”

  1. Everyone needs good nutrition. It is crucial for children, in particular, need good nutrition in order to grow and develop normally.

  2. Why would you top free lunch for children this is a disgrace
    For even considering to do this !!

  3. Children cannot learn on an empty stomach. Many children don’t get breakfast t homeeither. Please make sure all children are fed! Trump

  4. What kind of government allows the smallest and least able to provide for themselves to go hungry? But gives the wealthiest of us a tax break? A corrupt one is the only answer. As an American citizen, I can tell you that you will never get my vote or any man or woman who cares for the welfare of ALL American children. Do not cut SNAP.

  5. This has me pissed,No child should go hungry or any seniors! Our government should be taxing rich politicians,I worked my whole life and our government screwed me out of my unemployment and social security,I am a senior and feel like my life’s work meant nothing!

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