Proposed adjustments to the federal food stamp program could mean thousands of needy children will no longer receive free breakfast and lunch at school.
Currently, children from families that receive food stamps automatically qualify for the meals. That could soon change, though.
Atlanta TV station WSB reports that the tweaks being discussed would make an estimated 3 million adults and children no longer eligible for food stamps, affecting the ability of more than 500,000 youngsters to get free food at school.
The families that could potentially be removed are currently getting benefits because of various allowances and exceptions their states have put into place to expand access to food stamps for those in need.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the school lunch program, says most of the children who would lose access to free breakfasts and lunches would instead be eligible for reduced-price meals: 30 cents for breakfast and 40 cents for lunch.
Parents would have to go through a separate enrollment process in order for their children to get food at the discounted prices, according to WSB.