May 22, 2013 | By Marge Clark, BVM
The Farm Bill is currently on the floor in the Senate. Yesterday (May 21) was not a good day for hungry people.
The Senate voted down an amendment by Senator Gillibrand (26-70, with 4 not voting) to restore the $4.1 billion cut from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This would have been offset by a small cut in the payments to crop insurance companies as reimbursement for benefits paid to farmers for crop damage. The reduction in their profits would have been 2%, from 14% profit to 12% profit. It would not interfere with the benefits paid to farmers to compensate for damages.
The Farm Bill continues today to be bombarded with amendments to further erode nutritional help to those whose resources prohibit their purchase of healthier foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables – which most of us take for granted in our grocery shopping. The loss of SNAP also means that children in families denied SNAP benefits will be denied free school meals – jeopardizing their ability to reach their best potential.