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Biden has scrapped plans by former President Donald Trump to scrap food stamps for three million Americans and to remove automatic eligibility for free school meals from a million schoolchildren.

The proposal, which was first raised by the Trump administration in 2019, would have restricted eligibility for the schemes to only the poorest Americans, CNN reported.

Republicans had argued that there was a loophole in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program program which allowed higher-earning Americans to apply for food stamps.

However, the proposal to restrict access to the scheme would have affected significant numbers of children who would have lost out both from the removal of food stamps as well as free school meals, campaigners argued.

It comes after the Biden administration scrapped another Trump plan which would have removed access to food stamps for around 700,000 Americans, by limiting the ability of states to waive requirements for recipients to work.

The proposal was blocked by a US district court judge in 2020, which the Trump administration had appealed, only for the US government’s opposition to be overturned by the Biden administration. 

President Biden has pushed to expand the generosity of the food stamps scheme since taking office as part of a drive to tackle hunger in the United States.

His administration reportedly authorized the largest children’s summer feeding program in history this year, in a plan which gave over $1 billion a month in increased food stamp payments and giving children $1 a day to purchase snacks.

“We haven’t seen an expansion of food assistance of this magnitude since the founding of the modern food stamp program in 1977,” economist James P. Ziliak told the New York Times in April.

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Source:: Business Insider


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