FGA Sets the Records Straight on USDA Rule’s Impact on School Lunch Program

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Naples, FL — After House Education and Labor Chairman Bobby Scott sent a letter to the USDA inquiring how its proposed rule change could impact free school meals, the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) issued the following statement.

“There has long been the misconception that eliminating broad-based categorical eligibility (BBCE) would take free and reduced-price school lunches away from the students who need them—we can explicitly say that this is not the case,” said Jonathan Ingram, vice president of policy and research at FGA. “More than 99.9 percent of school-aged kids on food stamps would continue to qualify for the school lunch program after the BBCE loophole is eliminated. If anything, closing the loophole will ensure that benefits—like the national school lunch program—are better protected and reserved for the truly needy.”

Last year, FGA published research to set the record straight on food stamp loopholes and school lunches, which can be read in full here. The paper revealed that nationally, more than 99.9 percent of school-aged kids on food stamps would still qualify for the school lunch program. Altogether, fewer than 9,000 school-aged children on food stamps are from families with household income above the threshold for the school lunch program but enrolled in food stamps. These children would no longer qualify for the school lunch program simply because they never statutorily qualified in the first place.

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The Foundation for Government Accountability is a non-profit, multi-state think tank that specializes in health care, welfare, and work reform. To learn more, visit TheFGA.org.