USDA’s Plan Puts 500,000 Children at Risk of Losing Free School Lunches

Washington, D.C. – Today, on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM), mayors from the across country sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) opposing the proposed revision of “broad based categorical eligibility” for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), in effect reducing access to nutrition benefits for vulnerable populations. The USDA’s proposed changes to SNAP would impact 3.1 million Americans, including children, seniors, and people with disabilities.  Additionally, an estimated 500,000 children are at risk of losing free school meals if USDA’s proposed SNAP regulation takes effect.

“As Mayors, we serve as the CEOs of the nation’s cities; and remain most concerned about any proposal that will reduce improvements to the health of our residents, weaken nutrition programs, deteriorate advances to healthy food access, and spur declines in local and regional economies… SNAP remains one of our nations’ key resources in the fight against hunger and is particularly important to vulnerable populations in our cities,” wrote the group of mayors.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors has supported many policies over the years to eliminate hunger and combat food security in our cities. At its 87th Annual Conference this past July, mayors voted to adopt key resolutions in this critical issue area, supporting access to child nutrition programs and the elimination of food deserts across the country.

 The full text of the letter can be found here.