Friday, June 21, 2013

US House rejects SNAP cuts

The Greater Chicago Food Depository's SNAP Outreach team helped 3,037 clients apply for SNAP benefits in Fiscal Year 2011-12.
By Doug Schenkelberg

The US House of Representatives voted June 20 to reject the proposed $20.5 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by voting against the Farm Bill. As we laid out earlier this week, the Farm Bill, which sets federal policy for both agriculture and food and nutrition programs, was advancing to the floor of the House with several policy changes that would reduce benefits for thousands of food insecure households in Cook County. During the floor debate on the bill, several other amendments were added that would have further cut SNAP and other important food and nutrition programs.

Greater Chicago Food Depository advocates made a difference. All Cook County members of Congress voted to reject the cuts to SNAP and protect families facing food insecurity. They heard from their constituents that fighting hunger is important to them and they listened.

It is unclear at this time what the next steps for the Farm Bill will be. The current extension of the 2008 Farm Bill goes until September 30. Congress could choose to extend the 2008 Farm Bill again as they restart the process of writing a new Farm Bill, or they could regroup quickly and attempt to get a new bill completed before the deadline. We expect that the threat to critical nutrition programs has not gone away. We will continue to monitor these issues and work together to end hunger in our community.

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