Representatives review 2018 Farm Bill and SNAP
Washington, D.C. – The House Agriculture Committee held a hearing April 28 to review the 2018 Farm Bill and discuss the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which accounts for roughly 80 percent of the farm bill’s budget.
U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Stacy Dean mentions approximately 43 million individuals receive SNAP benefits and the annual cost is estimated at $127 billion.
“SNAP participation is linked to better health, education and employment outcomes,” she says. “About 70 percent of SNAP recipients are children, older Americans or adults with disabilities.”
Chairman David Scott (D-GA) recognizes SNAP as one of the most impactful programs the House Agriculture Committee works on.
“SNAP is the nation’s largest anti-hunger program,” he notes. “It addresses food insecurity of those most in need in our country.”
Scott mentions 10.5 percent of U.S. households or 13.8 million Americans were food insecure in 2020.
“Thankfully, throughout the pandemic SNAP has worked as it should, serving as many economic stabilizers for our nation,” he says.
SNAP is estimated to have lifted 2.9 million Americans out of poverty in 2020 and ensured millions could put food on their tables for their families despite difficult times, says Scott.
Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-CT) mentions she fully supports SNAP and feels the program is necessary to stabilize American families. She also accredits the program with positively benefiting the economy.
“SNAP is one of the most effective federal programs for bolstering local economies,” she says. “Every one dollar in SNAP generates $1.50 in economic activity, and studies have shown SNAP was responsible for nearly 200,000 industry jobs and 45,000 jobs in supporting industries.”
Throughout the hearing, representatives voiced their concerns over SNAP. Scott is worried U.S. veterans are not being adequately taken care of through SNAP.
“Research shows veterans have a 7.4 percent greater risk for food insecurity in the U.S. than non-veterans,” he states.
Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) notes SNAP has gone “unchecked” for nearly four years and he’s concerned with the immense amount of spending in the program.
“Each section of Title Four of the 2018 Farm Bill has made nominal changes to a program which has sense exploded to serve over 40 million individuals at a current cost of roughly $9 billion per month,” he says. “This one title will cost taxpayers nearly $1 trillion over the next 10 years.”
Thompson feels the success of SNAP will require lawmakers to work together.
“We need to come together to improve access and promote healthy foods and improve nutrition, employment, health care costs and general longevity,” he says.
2023 Farm Bill
As 2023 nears, lawmakers will work to create a farm bill which aids Americans to the best of its ability. Hayes is confident the 2023 Farm Bill will improve for the greater good of American citizens.
“The 2023 Farm Bill will not be like any other farm bill,” she says. “It will be a seminal, historic piece of legislation. I believe in the life changing impact SNAP has on recipients and the incredible support it provides our national economy.”
Scott recognizes the importance of the 2023 Farm Bill and hopes to improve SNAP in the coming months.
“In the next farm bill, I will continue to be committed to protecting and preserving SNAP to ensure it will continue to serve as our nation’s front line anti-hunger program for many decades to come,” Scott says.
Kaitlyn Root is an editor for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to email@example.com.