Washington, D.C. – Bread for the World today applauded passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. The legislation protects and strengthens the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and makes key improvements to international food aid programs. It now goes to President Trump for his signature.
“This is great news for struggling families,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “The Farm Bill is one of Bread’s top priorities. The legislation that passed today will be an important lifeline for millions of families experiencing hunger in both the United States and around the world.”
In addition to protecting and strengthening SNAP, domestically, the bill provides additional funding for Employment and Training pilot projects – including funding prioritizing specific populations such as older Americans, formerly incarcerated individuals, people with disabilities, and families facing multi-generational poverty. It also makes permanent nutrition incentives in SNAP and funds a new program allowing healthcare providers to give prescriptions for low-income people to buy fresh fruits and vegetables.
Internationally, the bill eliminates a requirement in Food for Peace to sell U.S. food commodities overseas to pay for life-saving food and nutrition programs (called “monetization”). Monetization cuts about $70 million from food aid each year. The legislation also gives the McGovern-Dole Food for Education program more flexibility to purchase from local farmers and markets, which will improve the nutritional quality of the food served.
“We thank the Senate and House Agriculture committees for giving us a bipartisan bill that doesn’t make drastic cuts to food assistance for struggling families,” added Beckmann. “We would also like to thank the thousands of Bread for the World members who contacted their members of Congress through phone calls, emails, text messages, and in-person visits to ensure this bill’s passage.”