A Bipartisan Farm Bill is expecting a vote this week!
Thanks to your advocacy efforts over the past year, this compromise Farm Bill does not include any of the harmful changes to the Nutrition Title that the House narrowly passed in June. Instead, the bill includes several provisions to strengthen the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and to improve international food aid. This is great news!
The bill could come to a vote on the House and Senate floors as early as this week. Your voice is needed once more to ensure the bill continues to help end hunger.
Call (800-826-3688) or email your members of Congress today. Urge them to pass a strong bipartisan farm bill that continues to strengthen SNAP, improve international food aid programs, promote conservation, and invest in rural development.
Domestically, the bill includes additional funding for employment and training programs targeting older Americans, the formerly incarcerated and other individuals with substantial barriers to employment. On the international front, the bill allows the McGovern-Dole Food for Education program the flexibility to purchase from local farmers and food markets, thereby improving the nutritional quality of the food served to children participating in the program.
The legislation also includes a small boost for trade-promotion efforts, a new initiative to combat animal diseases (including a livestock vaccine bank), grant funding for urban and indoor farming, and a provision returning the top USDA position on rural development to a Senate-confirmed post. Fortunately, controversial provisions to ease pesticide restrictions and endangered species protections were left out.
Unfortunately, the forestry title waives environmental reviews for activities like clearing diseased or insect-infested trees, but the changes are far short of more draconian measures that had been proposed in the House. Forest management and wildfire prevention was one of the last issues holding up negotiations in November.
While more can and should be done to end hunger in the U.S. and around the world, this bill is a good bipartisan compromise. It rejects harmful cuts to domestic food assistance that would negatively impact millions of people experiencing hunger. It also makes vital reforms to international food aid programs.
Your voice has made a difference in this farm bill debate. Tell Congress to bring the Farm Bill over the finish line!
* Please note: the (800) phone number is provided by Bread for the World.