The Republican administration wants to trim 700,000 people from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps.
Ninety-seven percent of the SNAP participants who would be affected by this change live in poverty, and 88 percent have household incomes at or below 50 percent of the poverty level or less than $600 a month.
There are also the 1 million kids who could lose free or reduced school meals, as proposed by the Trump administration in October.
Children whose families qualify for food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP, can automatically get free breakfasts and lunches at school, but thewould tighten eligibility for SNAP.
According to the Montana Food Bank Network, an estimated 42% of Montana SNAP households would face a cut to their monthly SNAP benefits. (Current SNAP benefits average about $1.40 a meal per recipient.)
This is not breaking news. Sonny Perdue, at Trump’s insistence, has been trying cut food stamp recipients since he was sworn in as agriculture secretary in April, 2017. He has also attacked the nutritional requirements for school meals, advancing obesity:
In May 2017, Perdue announced that his department would loosen key standards under the (Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act) established by the preceding administration, and the USDA formally issued a proposed new rule in November. The proposed rule, if implemented, would extend the use of waivers exempting certain processed food products from meeting the law’s whole grain standards; delay the implementation of new low-sodium limits until after 2020; and allow schools to serve low-fat flavored (i.e., sugar-sweetened) milk, which is currently disallowed. Secretary Perdue’s defense of the move was nonsensical: “This is not reducing the nutritional standards whatsoever,” he told reporters, adding “I wouldn’t be as big as I am today without flavored milk.”
It’s difficult to fathom more cruel administrative directives than shorting school children’s nutritional standards, cutting SNAP recipients and barring kids from free or reduced-price meals. Happy Holidays from the Republican Party!
I’m waiting for our Montana delegation in Congress to show the appropriate outrage, particularly the two who profess furthering “Christian Values.” Waiting. Waiting. Still waiting.