Stop Trump from Taking Free School Meals Away from 1 Million Kids

10.28.2019

Make Your Voice Heard Now!

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It was recently revealed that the Trump Administration's proposal to limit categorical eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) would not only result in more than 3 million people losing their SNAP benefits, but it would also leave nearly 1 million children without free school meals. The release of this new data forced the USDA to re-open the comment period for the proposal, which removes states' ability to use broad-based categorical eligibility (Cat El) for SNAP.

We must work together to make our voices heard and oppose this cruel proposal that would be devastating for so many American families. Here at Hunger Free America, we are advocating for universally FREE school meals. If enacted, this regulation would be a huge step in the wrong direction. 

Learn more about Categorical Eligibility in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Hunger Free America CEO Joel Berg on CBS


HOW YOU CAN HELP:

With the public comment period re-open until November 1, 2019, it's essential that as many people as possible voice their opposition before the regulation can be made final. Take just a few minutes to legally register your opposition to this unjust proposal.

Sample Comments:

“This regulation would affect nearly 1 million kids who would lose their eligibility for school meals. If kids don't get proper nutrition, their grades suffer and they are not able to reach their full potential. I strongly oppose this proposal. We should be giving children every opportunity possible to thrive, not making it more difficult for them to live a healthy, successful life."

"It seems to me that we would end up paying far more for increased health care costs if you cut this funding than the government will save. Free school meals are an essential component to ensure low-income children receive the nutrition they need. How can we turn our backs on these kids?"

"We used to be a country that cared about its children. Taking free school meals away from 1 million children is not only unconscionable, but it is also a poor investment in America's future."

Copy and paste these comments here by Friday, November 1, 2019.

Hunger Free America submitted the following comment:

"We are writing to implore you to reconsider the USDA’s recent proposal to reduce the amount of free food available to children struggling against hunger and to roll back nutritional improvements in school meals.

USDA has determined that, in 2018 (even when the economy was relatively strong) a startling 11.2 million American children – one in seven U.S. kids – lived in food insecure households. Because healthier food is more expensive and less available in low-income neighborhoods, hunger and obesity are flip sides of the same malnutrition coin. According to the CDC, 18.5 percent of U.S. children (13.7 million) suffer from obesity.

The nation should be increasing, not decreasing, its investment in healthy meals for children. Apart from the moral reasons to ensure adequate nutrition for all kids, there are also clear economic ones: we will either pay smaller amounts now to get very child good food or we will pay far more massive costs in the future due to the decreased educational performance of hungry kids and the increased health care spending due to mass malnourishment. Countless Americans are already chipping in to private charities that address these problems, but such charitable efforts are no substitute for an adequately-funded government safety net.

We are particularly troubled by your department’s recent proposal to take away the flexibility from governors to make it easier for people to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits as they try to work their way out of poverty. Not only would this proposal take groceries away from 3.1 million Americans (many of whom are children) who rely on SNAP, it would deprive 1 million low-income kids of school meals. Such indiscriminate cuts would not only increase U.S. hunger, but would also harm U.S. farmers and reduce jobs in the food manufacturing and retail industries. 

We hope you see that it violates both American values and our country's interest to implement such food cuts. Please consider withdrawing your proposal and instead seek ways to concretely reduce hunger in America."