Alliance to End Hunger Statement on House Markup of Farm Bill

April 19, 2018

WASHINGTON DC, April 19, 2018 – The Alliance to End Hunger today expressed deep concerns following the markup of H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, more commonly known as the “Farm Bill.”  The Farm Bill authorizes programs and initiatives pertinent to the Alliance to End Hunger concerning both global and domestic food security.

While H.R. 2 is strong in its support for global issues – including the Food for Peace Program, the McGovern-Dole Food for Education Program, and much-needed flexibility to address current foods security crises around the world, including support for food vouchers, cash transfers, local and regional procurement, as well as U.S. commodities – those positive aspects of the bill do not outweigh the damaging provisions related domestic food security in the legislation.

Among the troubling provisions are major reforms to eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps), including stricter work requirements, including an expansion of the age range covered by such requirements, that ignore the unique circumstances many needy individuals face. Additionally, the elimination of broad based categorical eligibility adds burdens to eligible individuals and families to acquire benefits, as well as administrative costs to local benefit-providing offices.  Together, these proposals have the potential to throw millions of individuals and families off the critical support they need to feed themselves and their families.

“While we are grateful for the strong support shown for global food security programs in the Farm Bill, we are also troubled by the failure of this bill to address the very real and complex issues faced by many hungry families here at home,” stated Rebecca Middleton, Executive Director of the Alliance to End Hunger.

The Alliance to End Hunger will now move to mobilizing its nearly 100-member multi-sector coalition to advocate for hungry and vulnerable populations in the Senate version of the Farm Bill.  A date has not yet been set for markup of the legislation in the Senate.

“The Senate must step up and show that the Farm Bill reflects the strong support of the U.S. for hungry people everywhere.,” said Middleton. “We must continue to build the will to see this vision and value through to the end.”