Farm Bill Food Assistance
DAY 83 ACTION: Email your member of Congress and tell them to protect food assistance programs in the Farm Bill!
At the recent House hearing on food stamps, Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-TX), quoted the Bible (2 Thessalonians 3:10) to argue that food stamps should be cut: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”
Yesterday we talked about the SNAP program, the largest but by no means the only food assistance program in the Farm Bill. Other Farm Bill programs include the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, which provides vouchers to the elderly for trips to the farmers market, and the children’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program.
House Republicans have set their sights on these programs. Some want to slash funding, or block grant the program (i.e., let states decide how to allocate, rather than giving to families directly). Others want to impose more work requirements, or drug testing. Still others want to prohibit using stamps to purchase junk food, despite studies that show SNAP recipients buy soda (5 cents on every $1) and candy (2 cents) at the same rate as everyone else. (Meanwhile, the GOP wants to end Michelle Obama’s healthy school lunch program.)
We need to defend nutrition programs early and often. Now is the time to start, as Congress begins hearings on the next Farm Bill.
Today’s Action: Email your Representative and ask them to protect SNAP and school lunch programs in the upcoming Farm Bill. If you tried to follow the SNAP budget yesterday, tell them about that experience to make your request personal!