Hungry and Poor People Suffer in House Agriculture Committee Farm Bill
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Washington, DC, July 12, 2012
The House Agriculture Committee passed its version of the farm bill with more than $35 billion in cuts to food and farm programs. The bill−the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act−passed out of committee with a vote of 35 to 11. It slashes more than $16 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the food stamp program) and could have a devastating impact on nearly 3 million recipients.
“These cuts are terrible news for hungry and poor Americans who are struggling to put food on the table,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “We are disappointed that efforts to restore SNAP funding were unsuccessful, but applaud House members who fought to save these vital programs.”
The bill also cuts international food aid quality programs by more than 95 percent. These programs target the nutritional needs of those at risk of life-threatening hunger and malnutrition, including children in the critical 1,000-day window between pregnancy and a child’s second birthday. Last year, 66 million people suffering in food emergencies around the world depended on U.S. food aid.
Nutrition programs funded through the farm bill weave a safety net that protects children, senior citizens, people with disabilities, and low-income working families from hunger and poor nutrition. These programs comprise about 80 percent of the cost of the farm bill and serve more than 49 million Americans.
“Furthermore, the exclusion of the Hunger-Free Communities grant program in this bill is another blow for hungry Americans,” Rev. Beckmann said. “Bread for the World strongly advocated for this program, which has been an essential tool in keeping hunger at bay for millions of Americans.”
The 2008 Farm Bill authorized Hunger-Free Communities grants, which support ending hunger at the community level. Last month, the Senate passed its version of the farm bill, with fewer cuts than the House version. The House and Senate must reach a compromise before Sept. 30, which is when the current farm bill expires.
Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.
Kristen Y. Archer, Acting Manager for Media Relations, 202-688-1118