Farm Bill update – what’s next?

On July 12, the House Agricultural Committee passed its version of the Farm Bill—the Federal Agriculture and Risk Management Act (FARRM)—which cuts more than $16 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP (formerly known as food stamps).

The Farm Bill passed by the Senate—the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012—contains less cuts and does an overall good job of protecting SNAP. The House Ag Committee’s version would significantly undermine Colorado’s ability to provide food assistance to poor working families, children and seniors.

Here is what’s really at stake:

  • $16.5 billion will be cut from SNAP.
  • 2-3 million people will lose their food assistance entirely due to very modest savings, assets, or minimum wages that they are able to earn.
  • 280,000 low-income children will no longer have access to free school meals due to losing their free meal eligibility that is tied to benefits being cut in SNAP.


WHAT’S NEXT?

It remains to be seen whether the House Ag Committee’s Farm Bill will be moved to the House floor for a vote by the full House of Representatives.

If the Ag Committee’s bill is voted on by the full House of Representatives, the next step would be negotiations between the House and the Senate to try and devise a compromise bill that will pass both the House and Senate.


WHAT CAN YOU DO NOW?

You can still call your House Representative and make a difference! Let your voice be heard at this juncture. Urge them to oppose the House Ag Committee’s Farm Bill proposal to cut more than $16 billion from SNAP and any other cuts that could reduce or weaken SNAP.

Not sure which district you live in? Find out here.

To contact your Colorado Representative:

  • Dial the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121. The operator of the switchboard can direct you to your Colorado Representative.
  • Or dial (877) 698-8228. When prompted enter your zip code and listen to the brief instructions. You will be automatically patched though to your Representatives office.

Below is sample language that you can use to ensure that you cover the important messages about SNAP. Feel free to personalize your message, but make sure to mention that SNAP is an essential anti-hunger program.

“Hello, my name is _________ and I am calling because I care about hungry people in Colorado. I want to urge Representative ___________ to protect SNAP. In Colorado, SNAP alleviates hunger, improves health and boosts the economy. To protect hungry families in Colorado, I ask that Representative ___________  oppose the proposed Federal Agriculture and Risk Management Act’s $16 billion cut to SNAP and any other proposals that would change SNAP’s structure, reduce funding, restrict eligibility or reduce benefits. We are counting on you to alleviate food insecurity in Colorado and help struggling families, seniors and children during these tough economic times.”


HELP BY SHARING:

Please share this blog post with five (or more) of your friends who care about hunger in Colorado. You also can share this information on Facebook and Twitter, so other Coloradans can take action too.

Thank you for helping us make a difference in the fight against hunger!

 

For more information about Hunger Free Colorado and the work that we do, visit www.hungerfreecolorado.org.

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