Updated 2/4/14: The 2013 Farm Bill has been passed in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The bill cuts $8.6 billion from the Farm Bill over the next 10 years. After two years of negotiations and delays, here are some strengths & weaknesses to the bill now going before President Obama:
- The bill cuts $8 billion from SNAP (commonly known as food stamps) over the next 10 years. This will affect an estimated 850,000 low-income people an average of $90/month by raising the “Heat and Eat” categorical eligibility minimum from $1 to $20.
- The bill increases TEFAP (The Emergency Food Assistance Program) funding by $200 million. TEFAP helps Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes and other food banks around the country procure food through the USDA at free or very low costs.
- Funding for innovative programs that double the value of SNAP at farmer’s markets is included.
- Dairy price supports will be eliminated but the bill offers insurance to dairy farmers against falls in the price of dairy or increases in the cost of feed.
- Improves SNAP education and training programs are included.
- The legislation eliminates the unpopular direct payment system to farmers (where farmers were paid whether or not they planted the crop) but continue to subsidize “the big 5” crops – corn, soybeans, wheat, rice and cotton – if actual losses are incurred.
Navigate the links below for more information on the Food & Farm Bill and what it entails:
- Food Research and Action Center
- Food Bank Council of Michigan
- Community Food Security Coalition
- The Cornucopia Institute
- Farm Policy
- Food & Water Watch
- Ag Observatory
- Community Alliance for Global Justice
Questions? Call Kevin Minor at 269-488-2617 ext. 218 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.