Presbyterian Church USA

Tell Congress to Prioritize Anti-Hunger Programs in 2023 Farm Bill


The Farm Bill (officially the Agricultural Improvement Act) is an enormous piece of legislation that is reauthorized every five years. This legislation began in 1933, as the Agricultural Adjustment Act. Its original focus was price control for certain crops, yet it has expanded over the decades to include a vast variety of topics including agricultural concerns, physical and mental health benefits for farmers, support for farmers of color, food and nutrition regulations, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and access to visas for migrant farmworkers. Signed into law in 2018, the current bill (H.R.2) authorized $428 billion dollars of spending over the past five years, 80% of which pertains to SNAP and other nutrition programs. The current legislation expires at the end of September and it’s time to urge Congress to ensure that the funding continues to serve our communities.

 

The graphic is a pie chart showing different colored triangles depicting the elements included in the Farm Bill.

The Farm Bill historically provides one of the largest food security and safety nets in existence within the United States through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, alongside other anti-hunger initiatives. It ensures that the elderly, underemployed, disabled, and children have access to nutritious food. This guarantees that over 40 million US households have food on the table each month. In recent 2023 congressional bills, these benefits were reduced, and it is critical that this safety net remains a priority for Congress. As Congress prepares to introduce a revised Farm Bill, it is time to urge Congress to prioritize community programs that provide adequate food supplements to those in need. 

Presbyterians are invested in serving impoverished and vulnerable communities and have worked tirelessly for decades to implement anti-hunger programs within the denomination. This commitment began over 50 years ago with the creation of the Hunger Program by the General AssemblyToday the commitment continues through the, Matthew 25 Movement of the Presbyterian Mission Agency as outlined by the 223rd General Assembly, which shares our dedication to eradicating systemic poverty. SNAP and anti-hunger programs are the biggest way that the United States provides for citizens that live below, at, or slightly above the poverty line. Therefore, supporting anti-hunger programs and nutrition benefits, including SNAP, is a highly impactful legislative act for Presbyterians to take as a way to show our continued commitment to eradicating systemic poverty and ensuring all have access to affordable and nutritious food.   

You can get involved by:

  • Share in prayer: Pray for farmers, transporters, consumers, and those who benefit from governmental nutrition benefits. 
  • Education:Take time to learn by reviewing The Eater’s Guide to the Farm Bill 
  • Send a letter: Urging your elected officials in the Senate and in the House of Representatives to prioritize SNAP and anti-hunger programs. 
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