After three years of fighting to ensure that the Farm Bill protects hunger-relief programs and advances our mission of a hunger-free America-- we have a resolution. Thank you constituents and champions, your voice made a difference. Today, Congress finalized a new Farm Bill, after the Senate’s 68-32 vote to pass H.R.
Representative Greg Morris of Vidalia got a lot of attention a couple of weeks ago promoting a proposed bill that would require Georgians receiving SNAP/food stamps to pass a drug test before receiving help to feed their family.
On day 2 of this Food Stamp Challenge, it had become apparent to me that when my food choices are limited all you can do is think about food. There was certainly a time when out of necessity, much of the days energy was centered on where the next meal would come from, but most of us now live outside of scarcity in the luxury of choice.
I recently attended a reception and was introduced to a civic leader in the community. When she learned that I was the executive director of the Food Bank, she looked me in the eye and said she doesn’t like to support people who use food stamps because they buy things she views as unhealthy. When asked for examples, she mentioned soft drinks, snack food, beer and cigarettes.
On November 1, 2013, every single person who relies on food stamps (SNAP) to help them feed their families will see a cut in the amount they receive. It has nothing to do with the federal shutdown, nor with the House of Representative’s bill that attempts to cut $40 billion from the program over the next 10 years. This is simply the expiration of a modest 2009 boost in benefits to SNAP recipients, which was included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to strengthen the economy and ease hardship.
The House of Representatives will be debating a proposed $40 billion cut to the nation’s food stamp program (now known as SNAP) this week. For a short, bipartisan update on the issue, this piece by former Republican Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole and former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle is a good place to start.
Think food stamps aren’t going to people who really need them? After losing her job “making really decent money” in 2010, Jessica took two jobs to make ends meet. She was still able to manage her expenses, but then was struck by the unexpected. Food stamps provided the safety net she needed. Hear the rest of the story in Jessica’s words:
Think food stamps aren’t going to people who really need them? Marvin moved to Atlanta for a better life after his wife passed away. But as much as he thrives on work, it’s been hard to find a steady job. To make matters worse, he was hit by a car and is still healing from his injury. Food stamps continue to be a life-saver during this difficult time in his life. Hear the rest of the story in Marvin’s words:
As you have all likely heard, last week, the House of Representatives decided to proceed with the Farm Bill by splitting it into two separate pieces of legislation—a farm only bill, which would cover agriculture programs, and a nutrition bill. It remains to be seen what will happen with the nutrition bill, which would fund critical anti-hunger programs like food stamps/SNAP and TEFAP.
“When just five people call, we know we need to pay more attention.”