Promote the peace of Christ by supporting the Peace & Global Witness Offering.

Presbyterians urged to contact Congress on reauthorizing the Farm Bill

Set to expire this year, the five-year bill historically has provided millions of Americans with one of their sturdiest safety nets

by Mike Ferguson | Presbyterian News Service

Photo by Jonathan Borba via Unsplash

LOUISVILLE — The PC(USA)’s Office of Public Witness issued an Action Alert Tuesday encouraging Presbyterians to, among other things, urge their U.S. Senators and House of Representatives member to quickly reauthorize the five-year Farm Bill, which expires in 2023 and provides Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and other anti-hunger initiatives to millions of residents as well as support to the nation’s two million farmers.

In addition to writing legislators to prioritize anti-hunger programs in the 2023 Farm Bill, which can be done here, Presbyterians and other people of faith can pray for farmers, transporters, consumers and for those who benefit from government nutrition benefits, the Action Alert states. They can also educate themselves using resources including the “Eater’s Guide to the Farm Bill,” which was produced by Food in Neighborhoods and the Presbyterian Hunger Program and can be downloaded here.

After mentioning some of the difficulties and uncertainties involved in producing food in the United States — including how difficult it now is for farmers and other food producers to make a living — the Eater’s Guide also contains good news, such as the growing movement of farmers and eaters working to rebuild local food systems and putting more of the consumer food dollar directly into the hands of small- and medium-scale farmers. “In addition to direct consumer support of local farmers,” the Eater’s Guide states, “we also have the opportunity to fix food policy at the federal level.”

The Eater’s Guide suggests a handful of principles for reforming the Farm Bill, including:

  • Protect and strengthen programs that reduce hunger and improve nutrition.
  • Promote investments, loan programs and policies that strengthen rural communities and combat rural poverty.
  • Ensure that farmers in the U.S. and around the world receive fair prices so they can sustain their farms and their livelihoods.
  • Ensure that crop insurance and other programs include payment limitations and rules giving equitable access to small- and medium-scale farmers.
  • Strengthen policies and programs that promote conservation, reduce carbon emissions, and protect Creation from environmental degradation.
  • Promote research and incentives related to clean and renewable forms of energy that do not negatively impact food prices or the environment.
  • Safeguard and improve international food aid in ways that encourage local food security and improve the nutritional quality of food aid.

“Presbyterians are invested in serving impoverished and vulnerable communities and have worked tirelessly for decades to implement anti-hunger programs within the denomination,” the Action Alert states. More than half a century ago, the General Assembly created the Presbyterian Hunger Program, and today the commitment continues through the PC(USA)’s Matthew 25 movement.

“Supporting anti-hunger programs and nutrition benefits, including SNAP, is a highly impactful legislative act for Presbyterians to take as a way to show our continued commitment to eradicating systemic poverty and ensuring all have access to affordable and nutritious food,” the Action Alert states.

Creative_Commons-BYNCNDYou may freely reuse and distribute this article in its entirety for non-commercial purposes in any medium. Please include author attribution, photography credits, and a link to the original article. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDeratives 4.0 International License.

  • Subscribe to the PC(USA) News

  • Interested in receiving either of the PC(USA) newsletters in your inbox?