Parents and teachers worried about a proposed change to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, turned out for a Congressional committee hearing Thursday to discuss the plan.
They are concerned it can leave kids across the country without access to enough food at home and in school.
"This SNAP proposal is a gut shot,” Diane Sullivan, a mother from Medford, Massachusetts, told lawmakers.
The Trump administrations has proposed tightening the eligibility requirements.
Sullivan said she would be one of the more than three million Americans who would lose SNAP benefits.
"Our combined monthly gross income is $124 above the federal SNAP income limit,” Sullivan said. "What are we to do when all of our bills have been paid and we're unable to feed our children? How do we expect our children to thrive in school if they're not eating?"
The changes could also mean up to 500,000 children could close their eligibility for free school lunches.
"We need them to be able to come into school and come into the classrooms with full bellies worried about their classroom work -- not worried about their next meal,” West Virginia teacher Tega Toney said.
Proponents said the changes would cut down on waste and fraud.
"The Trump administration should be applauded for this simple common sense rule,” Sam Adolphsen with The Foundation for Government Accountability said.
The Trump administration said the proposal would stop states from giving benefits to people who wouldn’t otherwise be eligible by raising income or asset limits.
"It makes sense to close loopholes and government gimmicks and transition from families from welfare to work,” Adolphsen said.
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