Earlier today, the bicameral Farm Bill Conference Committee released its compromise legislation for the 2018 Farm Bill. Following months of debate and deliberation, the legislation includes a number of compromises necessary to pass the bill, which resulted in a sound nutrition title that strengthens and protects access to critical federal programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
In response to the announcement, Abby J. Leibman, President & CEO of MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, today issued the following statement:
“We are pleased with the Farm Bill Conference Committee’s bipartisan compromise bill that supports effective federal nutrition programs. In protecting the basic structure and funding of SNAP, this legislation continues vital support to millions of Americans—including older adults, single mothers, children, veterans, people in rural communities, and the working poor—who struggle with food insecurity.
“Particularly in today’s polarized Congress, we applaud the steadfast leadership and diligence of Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry Chairman Pat Roberts, Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Agriculture Collin Peterson, and their staff. It is heartening to see bipartisan efforts that successfully prioritize the needs of millions of Americans for whom this legislation has a real impact.
“This Farm Bill is not perfect, but we believe it is the best possible bill in today’s political environment. MAZON hoped for additional improvements to increase benefits and expand access to nutrition assistance programs. We are particularly disappointed that a provision was not included in the bill that would have removed an unintended barrier to nutrition assistance for military families facing hunger. MAZON will continue to prioritize this issue in 2019 to ensure that those who make sacrifices for our country never have to struggle to put food on the table.
“This reauthorization process is an important reminder to us all of how essential reasonable compromise is to our legislative process. The Farm Bill has a longstanding bipartisan tradition of balancing the needs of farmers with rural and urban communities. We are confident that this compromise will achieve that goal, and we urge Congress to pass the legislation as soon as possible.”