SNAP enrollment is lowest in a decade

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.

More students in jeopardy if USDA tightens SNAP rules

Two weeks ago, the USDA said that up to 982,000 children would lose automatic access to free meals at school under its plan to tighten SNAP eligibility rules. Now a study by the Urban Institute says an additional 1.05 million children would be affected indirectly because they attend schools in low-income areas that serve meals for free to all students.

Colleges resort to ‘food scholarships,’ pantries to help hungry, homeless students

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)

Trump ‘chose oil companies over family farmers,’ says senator

The Trump administration is siding with Big Oil despite announcing a plan to increase ethanol consumption, farm state senators told the No. 2 USDA official on Thursday. “That’s a president that has chosen oil companies over family farmers,” said one of the critics, Democrat Sherrod Brown of Ohio.

Tighter SNAP rules could deny free school meals to nearly a million children

The Trump administration said on Wednesday that up to 982,000 children would lose automatic access to free meals at school under its plan to tighten SNAP eligibility rules. Brandon Lipps, deputy agriculture undersecretary, said the impact would be minimal because most of the children would qualify for a free or reduced-price meal if their parents filed the necessary paperwork.

Congressional Black Caucus opposes tighter SNAP eligibility rules

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.

SNAP proposal will ‘cut off millions,’ AMA says

The Trump administration proposal for stricter SNAP eligibility rules will "cut off millions of needy households from basic food aid" and should be withdrawn, said the American Medical Association, the largest U.S. doctors' group, on Monday. Fifteen Democratic senators, including all Democrats on the Senate Agriculture Committee, which oversees the food stamp program, also called for withdrawal of the SNAP proposal.

Heartland would be hit hard by proposal to tighten SNAP eligibility, says report

The Trump administration should withdraw its proposal for tougher eligibility rules for SNAP because of the harmful effects it would have on vulnerable families, said the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on Thursday. An estimated 1.9 million U.S. households would lose benefits, with four heartland states on the list of nine states facing the largest proportional losses, the group said.

A decade later, food insecurity rate returns to pre-recession level

Some 11.1 percent of U.S. households are food insecure, meaning they did not have enough food at times during 2018 due to a lack of money or other resources, said the USDA on Wednesday. It was the lowest food insecurity rate since 2007, just before the Great Recession drove food stamp enrollment and costs to record highs.

USDA says no link between school meals and SNAP proposal

The USDA says there’s a simple reason it did not mention the impact tighter SNAP rules would have on access to free school meals for low-income children: It is not proposing any changes in school meals. Yet two Democratic lawmakers say more than half-a-million schoolchildren will lose …