Free School Lunch may not be a SNAP anymore

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For some students buying lunch is just another meal, but for others it could end up being their only meal of the day. Currently over 30 million students rely on free and reduced lunch programs. This number could possibly shrink due to the new proposed policy which will cut around 3,000,000 people from the SNAP benefit program formally known as food stamps.

SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and it serves upwards of 42 million Americans. SNAP was created as a safety net for people who needed temporary assistance paying for food. Slowly this program has grown to a be an absolute necessity to some Americans who have become reliant on it. This costs the US Government around $68 Billion annually. Tightening the system could save around the United States $2.5 Billion a year.

The new requirements will go in affect in April. Every able bodied person must work at least 20 hours a week to keep their SNAP benefits. If they do not meet this requirement they will have a cap of 3 months of SNAP within 36 months.

With this change it could take away lunches away from 942,000 children as they would no longer qualify. Students could still apply for the reduced lunch program but this can be a long and hard process especially for low-income families. Limiting these benefits could take food away from kids who already don’t have enough food.

The government claims 96% of the students that will be cut from school lunch will still be eligible for the reduced-lunch program. The other 4% though will be left to pay for food with money they don’t have and will have to go home to empty cabinets.