On October 15, 2019, the USDA issued additional information about the number of children who would be cut from the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) as a result of the Administration’s Notice of Proposed Revision of Categorical Eligibility in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The Federal Register posted a new “Information Analysis” about the impact, stating: “The agency is extending the comment period to provide the public an opportunity to review and provide comment on this document as part of the rulemaking record.”
Nothing about the new information posted changes the fact that the proposed revision to SNAP regulations are deeply flawed and problematic, bypass congressional authority, and would increase hunger among low-income Californians.
Our full comments on the new information are available here.
An excerpt from Western Center’s comments:
The Western Center on Law and Poverty is deeply concerned by attempts to restrict food assistance to the individuals whom we and our partners serve in California. We strongly support the twin goals of preventing hunger and supporting economic mobility, both of which are best achieved when states can account for high housing, child care and health care costs, and help SNAP participants save money to weather financial setbacks. We believe that the Administration’s proposed changes to categorical eligibility will work in opposition to these goals. If the proposed rule goes into effect, it will cause an estimated 250,000 to 345,800 Californians, who are already struggling to meet their basic needs, to lose their SNAP benefits. Hunger does not help anyone exit poverty and, in fact, has been proven to do the opposite: to leave children and adults alike to experience long and short-term consequences of poor nutrition that undermines their wellbeing and economic security. We respectfully request that the Administration consider the comments in our letter and the information in the attached appendices, and that the Administration withdrawal the proposed rule from consideration.
Western Center’s full comments can be read here.