Congress is writing the farm bill right now and your lawmakers need to hear from you.
Any farm bill must not increase hunger in the United States or around the world. Call or email your members of Congress and tell them to ensure a place at the table for all people by protecting and strengthening the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) and international food aid in the Farm Bill.
Every five years, Congress must renew the farm bill, which governs federal farm and food policy, including SNAP and international food aid programs. The farm bill presents an opportunity to continue, alter, or discontinue federal farm and nutrition programs.
The current farm bill will expire at the end of September, 2013.
In 2012, the House and Senate Agriculture Committees considered farm bills that included cuts to SNAP and changes to international food aid.
The Senate bill would have cut SNAP by $4.5 billion over ten years.
The House version was even more severe: it would have cut SNAP by $16 billion over ten years.
If enacted these cuts would have increased hunger by cutting benefits for thousands of SNAP households and kicked millions of recipients off the program.
Last year’s Senate proposal included common sense reforms to international food aid programs. The bill encouraged purchasing food aid from local farmers, which in many cases is faster, cheaper and would in turn help them become more self sufficient.
However, the House proposal cut 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 thousand-day window between pregnancy and a child’s second birthday.