Will Congress deny 280,000 low income children a free school lunch?

Dana Woldowbyline‚ Jan. 23‚ 2013

Last year, when Congress failed to pass a new farm bill, an often-repeated claim was that the version of the bill proposed by the House Agricultural Committee would throw 280,000 children off the free school lunch rolls. Less clear was who exactly these kids would be, why some members of Congress thought it was a good idea to literally take food out of the mouths of low income children, and whether those families could just work around such legislation and still get free school lunch.

Late on New Year's Day, Congress finally passed a hasty "fiscal cliff" bill which also included what food blogger Tom Philpott called a "fast and dirty stop gap farm bill compromise." This unexpected move, which disappointed and outraged many, pushed most farm issues forward until September, averted the so-called "dairy cliff", in which milk prices could have doubled overnight, and postponed discussion of cuts to food stamps (now called SNAP) until later this year. It was the inability of Congress to agree on the extent to which the SNAP budget should be cut that derailed the farm bill in 2012.