Update on Federal and State Hunger News

It’s a busy time of year in Washington D.C., and Hunger Free Colorado is tracking Administrative actions and the Congressional agenda closely.  We are on the lookout for creative new ideas that would put a dent in hunger, but also on guard for policy and funding changes that would reduce Coloradans’ access to healthy, affordable food. We’ve pulled together the biggest news to get you up to speed on current and anticipated happenings in Colorado and across the nation.

Federal Updates

  • The President’s FY19 Budget Proposal released on Monday, February 12th.  While we were hopeful that there would be new ideas for how to end hunger, the budget includes proposals that include cuts to federal nutrition programs, including SNAP. We’re working with community partners and our legislators to try to keep these harmful cuts out of the final budget.
  • The Farm Bill expires in September 2018 so Congressional Committees are working to draft fresh legislation.  In the weeks ahead, we will be working to maintain support for SNAP in the farm bill and making sure Colorado’s elected officials know that addressing hunger is a non-partisan issue with broad support. The House may release their draft farm bill as soon as late February.
  • We are also keeping our eye out for administrative actions or free-standing legislation that would do harm by cutting anti-poverty programs or imposing new barriers to access.

State Updates

With Colorado’s legislative session in full swing, Hunger Free Colorado is engaging legislators and working with the State to ensure priorities related to food, hunger, and nutrition receive ample attention, oversight, and funding.  Of note:

  • Hunger in Colorado was front and center in January with publication of The Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger. The Colorado Health Foundation and a Steering Committee of more than forty organizations spearheaded creation of this document, which will serve as a tool for galvanizing public support for increasing access to healthy, affordable food statewide.
  • Legislation to make reduced-price school meals free for eligible students in grades 6-8 is moving through the General Assembly. The legislation extends the current practice of providing eligible students in grades K-5 with free meals.

We’ll keep you updated as things progress.

Short backgrounder: The farm bill is the colloquial name for the wide-ranging compendium of statutes that authorize federal farm, conservation, food, and nutrition programs. This legislation is important to anti-hunger efforts because the farm bill determines both funding levels and policies (e.g. eligibility rules) for SNAP, our nation’s first line of defense against hunger.  It also includes policies and programs that help to improve affordability, access, and availability of healthy, fresh, and locally-grown food.


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