Food Policy Action Education Fund Calls on Senate Agriculture Committee to Protect Anti-Hunger Assistance, Bolster Conservation Funding, Support Local Food Programs
WASHINGTON – Ahead of the Senate Agriculture Committee’s markup of its version of the farm bill tomorrow, Food Policy Action-Education Fund (FPA-EF) urged members of the panel to protect the vital nutrition program that helps more than 40 million struggling Americans feed themselves and their families.
“The farm bill is really a food bill for millions of hardworking Americans who struggle to have enough food to put on the table for themselves and their children,” said FPA-EF Executive Director Monica Mills. “Members of the Senate Agriculture Committee have worked in a bipartisan fashion to provide program integrity and offer common-sense employee training programs, including public-private partnership opportunities. We are watching to make sure the committee continues to protect access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that helps roughly one in four children in the U.S. get enough to eat.”
FPA-EF’s priorities for the 2018 Farm Bill – in addition to protecting the nutrition assistance title from cuts or additional onerous work requirements – includes shielding conservation programs from further cuts in funding, and bolstering local food and farming initiatives.
“Pollution from agricultural runoff is the leading cause of water contamination coming out of the faucets of rural American homes,” Mills said. “We want the Senate to use this opportunity to help farmers become better stewards of the land by strengthening the bill’s conservation programs.”
The House version of the farm bill failed to garner enough votes to pass last month. It sought to remove roughly 2 million Americans from SNAP, cut nearly $1 billion from conservation programs, and zero out funding for local farmers market initiatives and programs to help farmers transition to organic.
“The House farm bill was unconscionable—it would have given more loopholes to Big Ag operations at the expense of hungry children. Now, the Senate has the opportunity to benefit all Americans, not just corporate farm operations,” Mills added. “The interests of hungry people, all of us who demand clean water, and family farmers should be the Senate’s top priorities as it begins to markup the bill.”