What the New Farm Bill Compromise Means
By Sarah Ford on January 28, 2014
Source: Share Our Strength
Washington, DC - House and Senate leaders this week announced they finally had resolution on a five-year Farm Bill. The legislation ends the two-year battle over the bill and contains an estimated $8 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps). The following is a statement from Share Our Strength’s Billy Shore:
“With tonight’s State of the Union address, our nation will turn its thoughts to some of the major issues we face as a country: poverty, hunger, inequality and economic strength. These are complicated issues, and each can be addressed by eliminating childhood hunger, which may be our nation’s most solvable problem and which should be on top of the President’s agenda as well as every Governor.
Programs like SNAP keep millions of kids out of poverty and with food in their stomachs. More than a hundred thousand concerned citizens in our No Kid Hungry network took a strong stand against the draconian policy changes pushed throughout the Farm Bill process, including those that would have caused millions to lose their benefits entirely. We are heartened by the fact that the final legislation rejects the harshest of these cuts, which would have had a negative effect on millions of American families. The bill also protects important funding for SNAP Nutrition Education (SNAP Ed) which helps families stretch their food budgets.
At the same time, we are very disappointed that the more than $8 billion in cuts to SNAP in the Farm Bill on top of the $11 billion cut in SNAP benefits this past November make it more difficult for millions of families to put food on the table; instead, these funds should be reinvested into the program in the form higher benefit levels (which have demonstrated to significantly reduce hunger) and more nutrition education.
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