Trump rule may mean 1 million kids lose automatic free lunch

National

A teacher lines up the students for school-prepared lunches at Madison Crossing Elementary School in Canton, Miss., Friday, Aug. 9, 2019. Scott Clements, director of child nutrition at the Mississippi education department, said they’ve ordered two truckloads of trade mitigation pulled pork and four loads of kidney beans for use in their cafeterias. The products are coming from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is giving away the foods it’s buying to help farmers hurt by trade negotiations. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

NEW YORK (AP) – Nearly a million students could lose their automatic eligibility for free school lunches under a Trump administration proposal that’s expected to reduce the number of people who get food stamps.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released an analysis finding as many as 982,000 children could be affected by the change. About half of those children would remain eligible for free meals, but their families would have to apply to qualify. Most of the rest would have to pay a reduced price of 40 cents for school lunch. Around 40,000 would need to pay full price.

Children automatically qualify for free lunches if their families receive food stamps, but the Trump administration has proposed tightening eligibility for the program, called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

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