Low Income Kids May Lose Access to Free School Lunch

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The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which helps low income families afford their meals, is under fire due to a new rule imposed by the Trump administration. The proposal, which would end automatic enrollment in SNAP for families currently receiving welfare, was originally introduced back in July. 

One of the benefits of SNAP is free or reduced price lunch for public school students. Ending automatic enrollment in the program under the July proposal would have prevented nearly half a million kids from continuing to receive this vital benefit. 

SNAP faces increased pressure

Now, the Trump administration is doubling down on this policy proposal. Earlier this month, the USDA released an updated proposal calling for even more cuts to the program. The publication was released, ironically, just before the UN’s World Food Day on October 16th, and Trump’s very own proclamation of “National School Lunch Week” on October 11th. Both events are focused on guaranteeing healthy meals to all who need them.

The newly proposed funding cuts would increase the number of children being cut off from free school lunches to nearly one million. The new plan will affect nearly 20 percent of the people who are currently receiving SNAP.

It is a well-established fact that children need consistent and complete nutrition in order to succeed in school. Kids who lack the proper nutrients and calorie intake are prone to developmental delays and challenges. If the Trump administration’s proposal is set into law, it will be up to the states to determine how to proceed with their respective SNAP recipients and the kids who are at risk of losing their meals.

Dealing with school closures, childcare issues, or other challenges related to coronavirus? Find support, advice, activities to keep kids entertained, learning opportunities and more in our Coronavirus Parents: Parenting in a Pandemic Facebook Group.

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Mckenna Saady is a freelance writer and digital engagement consultant from Richmond, VA. Before working for nonprofits such as the Human Rights Campaign and United Way, Mckenna spent nearly a decade as a child care provider and Pre-K teacher. She now lives in Philadelphia and volunteers as a foster parent for orphaned kittens with the PSPCA.