The Farm Bill Passed the U.S. Senate
Last week, the United States Senate passed the Farm Bill by a bipartisan vote of 64 – 35 thanks to the people that stepped up to send an email, make a phone call, and spread the word through social media. The Senate’s Farm Bill provides our nation’s food banks and other emergency food providers with an additional $174 million in funding for USDA food provided through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) over the next 10 years. This is heartening news for food banks and other charitable organizations that must meet the rising demand for food assistance.
It was extremely disappointing that an amendment to restore $4.5 billion in cuts to SNAP did not pass. The good news is that the Senate rejected other amendments that would have imposed even deeper cuts and harmful structural changes to SNAP by a significant, bipartisan majority.
The fight is not over. In fact, it’s just getting started as the Farm Bill moves to the U. S. House of Representatives. Now that the Farm Bill has passed the Senate, the House of Representatives is set to finalize its version and bring it to committee for a vote the week of July 9th. In the House of Representatives, even deeper cuts are expected for SNAP.
In the next few weeks, Hunger Advocates across the nation will have another opportunity to make their voices heard and protect vital hunger-relief programs like TEFAP and SNAP. Will you join us? I will be sending out more information and asking you to call your Member of Congress as that vote nears.
For those of you that sent emails and letters to your U.S. Senators, I thank you for helping to protect and strengthen programs that help to feed hungry Americans. Remember, without a strong federal commitment, we, as a nation, cannot hope to create a hunger-free America.
Please stay tuned for more ways you can get involved in the coming weeks. We can only make a difference when we take action. You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result. ~ Gandhi
Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art