Alliance to End Hunger Applauds Passage of Farm Bill Friendly to Needs of Hungry People at Home and Abroad
December 13, 2018
WASHINGTON DC, December 13, 2018 – The Alliance to End Hunger today applauded the passage of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, commonly known as the Farm Bill. The Farm Bill authorizes programs essential for the work of the anti-hunger community, notably the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps).
“The Alliance’s membership has been hard at work advocating to ensure the Farm Bill is supportive of the needs of hungry people in the U.S. and around the world, and we could not be more pleased by the final product,” stated Rebecca Middleton, Executive Director of the Alliance to End Hunger.
The final draft of the Farm Bill did not come easily. The House of Representatives’ version of the legislation – which passed the chamber in June – contained potentially damaging work requirement and eligibility changes in SNAP that would have ignored unique circumstances of many hungry people in the country. These SNAP provisions proved to be one of the final sticking points as the House and Senate went to conference to iron out differences. Ultimately, harmful cuts and policy changes to the program were not adopted.
Instead, the Farm Bill adds funding to SNAP Employment and Training programs, and targets funding for specific at-risk populations such as older Americans and people with disabilities.
The Farm Bill also made important improvements to programs directed at global food security. In both the Food for Peace and McGovern-Dole Food for Education programs, the legislation allowed the programs to exercise flexibility in implementation and procure commodities in local and regional markets.
The passage of a favorable Farm Bill marks the second success of the Alliance to End Hunger’s two advocacy priorities for 2018. In October, the Global Food Security Reauthorization Act of 2018 was signed into law – reaffirming American leadership in international food security issues, and building on the success of the Feed the Future program.
“With passage of both the Farm Bill and GFSA, we have a bit of legislative breathing room going into this holiday season,” said Middleton. “We still have a lot of work to do, but with these wins, and the dedicated and passionate membership the Alliance enjoys, we can go into 2019 with a bit of optimism.”