News Blog

Why care about the Farm Bill?

Food insecurity and economic factors are hurting more American people every day.  According to a new Gallup survey, 20 percent of Americans said in August that they have “lacked enough money to buy the food that they or their families needed during the past year.”

As their graphics show, that figure is the highest percentage since late 2011 - closing in on the 20.4 percent peak reached in November 2008, at the height of the financial crisis:

This negative trend is sobering in view of the stranded Farm Bill programs and massive cuts considered for the food stamp program. I

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives plans to vote this week on cutting the country’s food stamp program -- technically known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) -- by around 5 percent, or around $40 billion over 10 years.

A cut of this size would take away food assistance from up to 6 million low-income Americans, according to an August calculation by the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

The Huffington Post's Arthur Delaney noted this week, that hard times are coming for SNAP-using families, whether or not the House bill passes. “Regardless of the legislative outcome between the House and Senate bills, the average family of four enrolled in SNAP will see its monthly benefit decline by $36 in November, thanks to the expiration of the 2009 stimulus bill.”  

Today, roughly one-sixth of the nation uses the program in some form and primarily affects children. The need for local, fresh and affordable food is a keystone for every community along with the local farmers who produce it. And this is just one reason why we all should care about the Farm Bill