One of the biggest legislative problems Congress has not yet resolved is the farm bill – the House and Senate are in a standoff, with each presenting extremely different versions, while a deadline looms this month. What is at stake? The ability of millions of poverty-stricken Americans to provide nutritious meals for their families.
The farm bill provides subsidies for farmers, and funds for conservation and crop insurance. The government program also provides funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Under the House bill, next year almost four million people will be removed from the food stamp program, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
As a country with abundant resources, particularly the bountiful food produced by our farms, we have a duty as a nation to fight hunger. In the past, funding for this vital program has been included in the farm bill with very little partisan bickering. With the nutrition title stripped from the legislation this year by the House, the connection between our food system and the people struggling with hunger has been severed.
By tackling our nation’s hunger issues, farmers, low-income families and even our economy wins. Eliminating funding for food assistance which 4 to 6 million Americans depend on, as the House proposes, will have wide-reaching negative effects. If the political partisan bickering continues, and Congress allows this bill to fail, there will be devastating results for hungry families and children.
For more information about how the farm bill will impact hungry families in the Conejo Valley, or to find out how you can help by donating to the Manna Conejo Valley Food Bank, contact Manna today.