For Immediate Release: June 13, 2018
Contact: Magen Allen, Mallen@hungerfreeamerica.org, (212) 825-0028, ext. 212
Anti-Hunger Advocates Cautiously Praise Senate Farm Bill
“Status Quo Falls Short, but Far Better than House Wrecking Ball”
The U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee just passed a bi-partisan Farm Bill, which would enact neither significant cuts nor significant increases in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program. In contrast, on May 18, the U.S. House of Representatives voted, on party lines, to defeat a G.O.P. Farm Bill that would have taken billions of dollars’ worth of SNAP benefits away from millions of struggling Americans. The House G.O.P. may try again to pass the same bill in the next few weeks.
In response the Senate committee vote, Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America, a nationwide advocacy and direct service organization, issued the following statement:
“41 million Americans – roughly the combined populations of Texas and all of New England – still struggle against hunger. Such massive levels of hunger harm the nation economically and spiritually. The average SNAP benefit now equals only $1.36 per meal, far too low to pay for full, nutritious meals. Because ending hunger would lift us all, we believe any truly effective Farm Bill would slash hunger by significantly boosting SNAP benefits. Judged on that basis, the Senate Farm Bill – which leaves in place a horrid hunger status quo nationwide – falls far short.
However, the Senate bill is head-and-shoulders above the horrid House bill, which would have taken a wrecking ball to the anti-hunger safety net, by taking away billions of dollars’ worth of SNAP from millions of low-income Americans. Thus, we would urge the full Senate to add-on nutrition improvements, then pass the bill. If the House does not agree, then Congress should re-authorize the existing law for the year. We would then hope the new Congress, next January, would start from scratch and pass a progressive Farm Bill that slashes hunger, aids small farmers, creates jobs, protects the environment, boosts nutrition, improves food safety, and benefits consumers.”