Senate Farm Bill Passes

Meghan McHugh
June 10, 2013

Every five years the United States Congress is tasked with reauthorizing legislation that is commonly referred to as the “Farm Bill.” This legislation reauthorizes child nutrition initiatives, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the Food Stamp program), The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, and SNAP Nutrition Education (also referred to as SNAP-Ed or the Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention grant program). Last year Congress was unable to complete work on a Farm Bill and is currently operating under an extension of the last Farm Bill that is set to expire on September 30, 2013.

Tonight, the United States Senate passed their version of a Farm Bill, the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2013 (S. 954). This legislation cuts SNAP by slightly more than $4 billion over 10 years, while the U.S. House of Representatives’ current version of the Farm Bill cuts SNAP by $20.5 billion over the same timeframe. With nearly half of SNAP funding going to feed hungry kids any SNAP cuts will impact kids, but the House Farm Bill’s larger cuts would have far greater impacts.

Although the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2013 cuts SNAP by 4.1 billion over 10 years the legislation protects the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program which ensures that low-income elementary students have access to a fresh fruit or vegetable snack at school. In addition, the legislation protects investments in SNAP Education which...

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