With a majority of students in Potter County receiving reduced lunches, a bill waiting approval of Congress could affect those in need.
Confusion over whether or not the 2012 Farm Bill will affect the school lunch program has been the topic of much debate.
Texas Department of Agriculture Commissioner, Todd Staples, clarifies that the school lunch program will not be affected. But what the bill does impact is those receiving the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, also known as SNAP. A $16-billion cut to SNAP is proposed in the house version of the bill, thus changing the qualifications for the program.
"In our area that's roughly about 8,400 people that could lose benefits on this purposed cut. Which in turn will turn around and put more strain on the food bank and area pantries and agencies that help that are already seeing a huge demand," Zack Wilson Executive Director of The High Plains Food Bank says.
In the last two years, the amount of students receiving reduced or free lunches in the Amarillo Independent School District has increased. More than 70% of students in Potter County alone receive reduced lunches, making the bill an issue of concern.