The USDA has issued waivers to 43 states that make it easier for schools to provide food to low-income children who lost access to free or reduced-price meals due to coronarvirus closures, said a spokesman on Wednesday. An anti-hunger group called for more flexible treatment and speedy handling of the burgeoning number of applications for food stamps. (No paywall)
Just as lawmakers temporarily increased food stamp benefits during the Great Recession of 2008-09, Congress should boost benefits to help poor families cope with the economic downturn that is accompanying efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus, said the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities on Thursday. (No paywall)
The Trump administration said on Thursday that state agencies operating SNAP must expand their job-training activities for food stamp recipients as a way to help them earn more. The proposal was unveiled on the same day as a federal court hearing on a lawsuit to block a USDA regulation, set to take effect April 1, that ends SNAP benefits for 700,000 adults.
The Trump administration proposed a 29 percent cut in food stamps on Monday, to be achieved by requiring more recipients to work at least 20 hours a week and by providing some benefits in the form of a box of food instead of letting people buy food themselves at grocery stores. The White House also asked Congress for stricter rules for access to free meals for low-income children at public schools.
A Trump administration regulation that would eliminate food stamps for 688,000 people is being challenged in U.S. district court by 14 states and the District of Columbia. Their lawsuit, filed on Thursday in Washington, asks for the rule to be overturned as unlawful and for an injunction to keep it from taking effect on April 1.
Before leaving Washington for the holidays, more than a dozen House Democrats stood in front of the USDA headquarters on the Mall to register their opposition to Trump administration regulations that would eliminate food stamps for 3.7 million people. Rules Committee chairman Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, one of the foremost defenders of SNAP, raised the possibility of a congressional lawsuit against the cuts.
Nearly a year after President Trump announced “immediate action on welfare reform,” his administration said on Wednesday that it would more stringently apply a 90-day limit on food stamps for able-bodied adults, a step that would disqualify 688,000 recipients from the SNAP program.
Food stamp enrollment is forecast for 37.1 million people this fiscal year, the lowest figure since the early days of the Great Recession. The antihunger program could cost $69.2 billion this fiscal year, according to Senate appropriators, down 6 percent from fiscal 2019, which ended on Sept. 30, and far below the nearly $80 billion cost when SNAP participation peaked early this decade.
With Congress mired in partisan gridlock and the White House showing little interest, the nation's colleges and universities are scrambling to address the growing crisis of hungry, homeless students, as Bridget Huber reports in FERN's latest story.(No paywall)
The Trump administration proposal to tighten eligibility rules for food stamps “will push struggling families and children further into poverty, and we strongly urge USDA to rescind it immediately,” said the 55 members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Wednesday.