The Oct. 21 School Notes column, “Rep. Trone fights for free school meals,” rightly points out the extreme importance of proper nutrition for the overall health and successful development of Maryland’s students.

Representative Trone should be applauded for his defense of these invaluable nutritional resources. As a member of the Frederick County Council and an elementary teacher of 14 years, I join in his commitment to the nutritional needs of our students and all of our fellow Marylanders. I am in strong agreement with Rep. Trone’s statement that “This program … gives them a shot to be at school in their best moments; well-fed and ready to do the work in school that will let them succeed in life.”

I oppose the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) proposed rule regarding broad-based categorical eligibility for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). In Frederick County, more than 3,300 families with children under the age of 18 receive SNAP benefits. Maryland Hunger Solutions, a statewide nonprofit that works with SNAP, estimates that up to 50,000 Marylanders could stand to lose SNAP benefits if this rule is implemented. The USDA recently admitted that they failed to take into account the specific impact these rule restrictions would have on schoolchildren and reopened the public comment period, acknowledging that 981,000 students across the nation could lose automatic access to free school meals.

It is important for us here in Frederick County to let the USDA know that restricting eligibility for SNAP and school meals is bad for our kids and bad for our future. Comments will be accepted through Friday and can be made online at the following link:

Jessica Fitzwater

County councilwoman


(4) comments


Jessica is exctly right. This is no time to starve children. They need balanced and nutritious meals.

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Food for thought... is why free breakfast and lunch should is available at Frederick County public schools. Even early dinner is available at some.


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By all means donate as much of yor income to feed other people's children as you want. I perfer to donate my money and time to environmental protection (did it as a career and now voluntarily) I prefer not to pay to feed people's children who have not planned properly (again excepting catostrophic events). Even if those children have food, the parents have placed them at a disadvantage and a gap for most social measures that few will close over their lifetime. Why not free food for everyone regardless of income or age?

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