Trump plan failed to note that it could jeopardize free school lunches for 500,000 kids

Updated: Aug 8, 2019

The Trump administration determined that more than 500,000 children would no longer be automatically eligible for free school meals under a proposed overhaul to the food stamp program, but left that figure out of its formal proposal, according to House Democrats.



The Department of Agriculture wants to crack down on eligibility for food stamps, estimating that 3.1 million Americans would lose benefits under the proposed rule that the agency unveiled on Tuesday.


The proposal, however, did not include the USDA’s own estimate that more than 500,000 children would lose automatic eligibility for free school meals under the proposed change, according to Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., chair of the House Committee on Education and Labor.


Under current law, children whose families receive food stamps are automatically enrolled in a federal program that offers free breakfast and lunch at school. The two benefit programs are linked to reduce paperwork and help ensure that children receive all of the food assistance they qualify for.