President Joe Biden has axed a draconian Trump administration policy that would have kicked three million people off of food stamps, a move that would have deprived nearly one million kids of free school meals, Rolling Stone reports.
This proposal was just too good of a dog-whistle for the former administration and fellow Republicans to miss. And they led the call, pushing the proposal in 2019 while claiming some Americans were utilizing a “loophole” that permitted folks with incomes higher than the national poverty level to gain entry into the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Then the pandemic began its cruel assault, resulting in record unemployment claims. Trump, however, was not swayed by this, and he still wanted to kick suffering people off the program.
Well, this is a man who has never known hardship at any point in his life, so why would he even care about others who are facing this?
Fortunately, his attempts were blocked by a U.S. district court ruling.
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Now the United States Department of Agriculture has put a permanent stop to the oppressive proposal and noted in a statement Wednesday that it arrived at this decision after receiving nearly 158,000 comments detailing concerns the initiative could “potentially jeopardize food security for children, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and the elderly.”
“The department agrees with the issues raised by many commenters and no longer believes that the limitations the proposed rule would have put on categorical eligibility are appropriate,” per the USDA.
The USDA’s decision has been met with optimism and that’s drawn commendations from FRAC, a non-profit anti-hunger organization, which released a statement applauding the change, saying this move “preserves SNAP benefits for more than three million in low-income families working their way up the economic ladder and ensures a direct connection to free school meals for the children in their households.”
In March the USDA announced a 15 percent increase in SNAP benefits that would extend through September that will pump an estimated $3.5 billion into households experiencing food insecurity as the pandemic continues. That equates to an additional $27 per person per month in benefits. For a family of four, that would mean an extra $100 per month.
This decision by the Biden administration couldn’t come at a better time as the country continues to struggle with the hunger crisis spurred by the pandemic. Rolling Stone notes at the height of the crisis cars lined up for miles at food banks, where supplies ran out quickly. In February 2021 the number of SNAP recipients rose by 14 percent from the previous year, meaning 42 million people were receiving benefits.