Bread Statement on House Farm Bill


Washington, D.C., May 23, 2024 – Bread for the World released the following statement on the Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024, which was introduced by House Agriculture Committee Chair GT Thompson. The legislation will be marked up this morning.

The statement can be attributed to Rev. Eugene Cho, president and CEO of Bread for the World:

“The farm bill is our nation’s most important anti-hunger legislation. It incorporates many of our country’s nutrition programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and international food aid.

“The Farm, Food, and National Security Act introduced by Chairman Thompson contains many positive elements. It would boost farm safety net programs, improve SNAP participants’ access to nutritious fruits and vegetables through the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP), and end the lifetime ban on people convicted of federal drug felonies from accessing SNAP benefits.

“The legislation would also fully fund the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education Program, which helps lower-income countries establish school feeding programs. In fiscal year 2022, the program provided nutritious school meals to more than 2.7 million food-insecure children in 34 countries.

“However, as currently written, the legislation would increase domestic food insecurity and prevent millions of people globally from receiving critical humanitarian nutrition assistance.

“The bill limits future updates to the Thrifty Food Plan, which is used to calculate SNAP benefits. This would result in $30 billion being cut from SNAP over the next decade, leaving SNAP families with fewer resources to buy groceries and lead a healthy life. Currently, 42 million Americans receive nutrition assistance through SNAP.

“The bill also fails to authorize Puerto Rico’s transition from the Nutrition Assistance Program (NAP) to SNAP, leaving these U.S. citizens reliant on a block grant with capped funding levels that fail to meet the needs of the people amid natural disasters or economic downturns.

“Internationally, the bill would require the Food for Peace humanitarian aid program to spend 50 percent of its budget on U.S. commodities and ocean freight – increasing costs and greatly reducing the funding available for vital food assistance. More than 2 million additional people would be left vulnerable to hunger and malnutrition.

“Finally, it would mandate USAID to consult with the USDA in the administration of Food for Peace, creating layers of bureaucracy and slowing the delivery of lifesaving humanitarian aid.

“We urge lawmakers to unite across party lines, address the shortcomings in this current version, and pass a meaningful farm bill this year that helps farmers, improves and protects families’ access to nutrition, and ensures international food aid can reach all who need it in the quickest and most effective ways possible.”

Related Resources