This White House Rule Will Result in More Hungry Kids. Here's What You Should Know.

This SNAP rule would put kids at risk of hunger

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is one of our nation’s most powerful tools to combat childhood hunger. But the White House has proposed a rule that would strip SNAP benefits from millions of low-income families and children. No Kid Hungry stands in strong opposition to this effort. 

This week, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform begins a series of hearings on the White House’s recent attempts to skirt the legislative process and enact its own policies that would ultimately harm children and working poor Americans. No Kid Hungry will be on Capitol Hill to testify about the benefits of SNAP and to be a voice for kids in need. Here’s everything you need to know.

This is what the White House proposed

The Administration wants to get rid of a policy known as Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility (BBCE), which helps low-income families enroll in SNAP if they’re already eligible for other anti-poverty programs. Aligning eligibility for these programs is beneficial for three big reasons: 1) it’s efficient and reduces red tape, 2) it helps the working poor gradually decrease their SNAP benefits as their income begins to increase rather than face an abrupt cut-off and 3) it certifies kids whose families participate in SNAP in the free school lunch program. 

Here’s what happened

The rule was released by the White House on July 23 and was open for public comment for 60 days. But, in a surprise turn of events, the comment period was later reopened. Why? It turns out that they underestimated the impact on kids. In addition to cutting SNAP benefits, the rule puts direct enrollment in free school meals in jeopardy for up to one million kids! 

This is the impact

If you remember only one thing about this rule it’s this: It will kick more than 3 million Americans off the SNAP program and nearly one million kids will lose direct enrollment in the free school meal program. 

That means kids will be hit with a particularly cruel double whammy of lost meal both at home and at school. 

Wait, isn’t there more?

Yes, this rule was just one of three proposed by the White House in 2019 that would cause millions of hardworking Americans and children to lose their SNAP benefits. 

One proposes to cap deductions for utility allowances, effectively forcing families to choose between paying the utility bill to heat their homes or buying groceries. 

Another, which was finalized in December and now faces a lawsuit from 14 states, creates stricter work requirements and time limits for SNAP eligibility, which will result in nearly 700,000 Americans losing SNAP benefits. 

What happens next?

The Administration has to read and file each comment before it determines the rule to be final. That’s what it’s doing right now. Count on us to keep you informed on any final decision and next steps.  

I’m fired up! How can I get involved? 

Click here to email your Member of Congress and tell them continue to fight for programs like SNAP. 

You can also tune into the hearing on Thursday to hear from our Senior Vice President Lisa Davis and other witnesses who will testify to the impact of SNAP and school meals in the lives of millions of children in America.