ORLANDO, Fla. — Another proposed change to the federal food stamps program could impact whether thousands of Central Florida children get free or reduced lunches.
- Feds announce 3rd proposed change to food stamp program SNAP
- Food bank says change will affect thousands of kids who get free lunches
- Feds say most students in program will still be able to get benefits
Second Harvest Food Bank distributes about 58 million meals a year to hungry families.
But even with all those meals, President and CEO Dave Krepcho says that if the Trump administration’s proposed changes come to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, there’s no way his food bank will be able to help all families who are food-insecure.
“The nonprofits or charities who feed people cannot make up the difference of this loss,” Krepcho said.
The Trump administration announced Wednesday the last of three proposed changes to SNAP. This change would limit many people who are eligible for work but don’t have a job from receiving the benefits.
“We’re getting Americans off of welfare and into the workforce,” President Donald Trump said at a recent conference.
Many children in families who use SNAP automatically qualify for free or reduced school lunches. But if those families lose their benefits, their children would no longer qualify for the free meals.
Krepcho says it would affect an estimated 157,000 children — and tens of thousands of children in Central Florida.
“Those meals might be one of the few that child gets during the day,” Krepcho said.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees SNAP, says the majority of students will still be eligible for free or reduced lunch if the changes go through, but their parents will have to apply for the program separately.
Krepcho says this increases the burden on already burdened families.
“They’re trying to balance a low wage with very high housing costs, and we have an affordable housing crisis in the state of Florida and especially in Central Florida," Krepcho said.
The three proposed changes could take effect next spring.
Second Harvest Food Bank urges anyone concerned to contact their representative in Congress to voice their opinion on the proposed changes.