January 28, 2014

New Farm Bill Compromise a Mixed Bag

Washington, D.C. – Bread for the World commends its grassroots membership for efforts to protect SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly food stamps) and to improve international food aid in the Agricultural Act of 2014. Although it excludes some of the more drastic SNAP-cut and policy-change proposals, the bill includes a harmful cut to SNAP just months after the monthly allowances of SNAP beneficiaries were cut.   

“This bill is a mixed bag,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “While there are some positive aspects, such as food-aid reform provisions, we are disappointed with the $8.6 billion cut to SNAP.  Any cut to SNAP is harmful to America’s struggling families, especially at this time when hunger in the U.S.A. is at an all-time high.”

The compromise bill, made public last night, is expected to be voted on by the House Wednesday, Jan. 29.

Bread members have been critical in advocating for much-needed food-aid reforms, as well as preventing deeper cuts to SNAP and other harmful policy changes affecting America’s struggling families. The compromise bill includes strong efforts to ensure that international food-assistance programs are more efficient and reach as many children and families as possible. This includes $80 million authorized for local and regional food procurement, increased cash flexibility for development programs, and efforts to improve the nutritional quality of U.S. food assistance.

Though less than the $40 billion cuts to SNAP proposed in 2013, the $8.6 billion cut included in the bill will have drastic implications for hundreds of thousands of SNAP households. While the bill will not kick current beneficiaries off the program, it will cut benefits for approximately 850,000 households.  

“Congress must not forget that many American families are still struggling to put food on the table—especially at a time when unemployment remains high and programs that support hungry and poor people are at risk of greater cuts,” Beckmann added. “Any cut to SNAP is harmful.”

Excluded in the compromise bill are harsh work requirements that would have kicked parents with young children off SNAP, as well as drug-testing requirements. It also excludes the lifetime SNAP benefit ban on ex-offenders, which would have had severe consequences on those most marginalized. Bread for the World strongly opposed these policy changes. Finally, the bill does not cut the Food for Peace Program—a major win for Bread membership.

from our Resource Library

For Education

For Faith

  • Unity Declaration on Racism and Poverty

    A diverse body of Christian leaders calls on the churches and Congress to focus on the integral connection.

    Dear Members of Congress,

    As the president and Congress are preparing their plans for this year, almost 100 church leaders—from all the families of U.S. Christianity—are...

  • In Times Like These … A Pan-African Christian Devotional for Public Policy Engagement

    This devotional guide invites deepened relationship with and among Pan-Af­rican people and elected leaders in the mission to end hunger and poverty.

  • Sermon by David Beckmann at Duke University Chapel

    Remarks delivered October 1, 2017 at Duke University Chapel in Chapel Hill in North Carolina.

    Thank you for inviting me to preach here at Duke University Chapel. And I especially want to thank the Bread for the World members who have come this morning.

    Bruce Puckett urged...

For Advocacy

  • Grassroots Advocacy Toolkit

    A set of how-to sheets for carrying out advocacy and fact sheets on the current issues Bread for the World is working on.

    For new and current Bread grassroots hunger activists.

    Ideal as a starter toolkit for new Bread activists or as a set of updates for current activists.


  • U.S. Hunger and Poverty State Fact Sheets

    These fact sheets provide a snapshot of hunger and poverty in the United States and in each state plus Washington, D.C. 

  • Fact Sheet: Hunger by the Numbers

    In 2017, 11.8 percent of households in the U.S.—40 million people—were food-insecure, meaning that they were unsure at some point during the year about how they would provide for their next meal.


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