Statement on the passage of H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018

From Linda Bopp, Executive Director

Yesterday, the House of Representatives narrowly passed the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (Farm Bill) (H.R. 2), by a vote of 213-211. The passage of H.R.2 is a serious attack on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and threatens states’ ability to make sure people who are struggling have enough to eat.

The House farm bill will increase hunger and hardship by taking away—or cutting—food assistance from many struggling New Yorkers, including parents raising kids, people with disabilities, older workers, low-wage workers, and people temporarily in between jobs. It also imposes costly and bureaucratic new work requirements on SNAP recipients.

SNAP helps 1 in 7 New Yorkers afford groceries and is the first line of defense against hunger.  According to a recent analysis by Hunger Solutions New York, the House farm bill would cause more than 30,000 families, most with children, to lose SNAP eligibility by eliminating broad based categorical eligibility. Hundreds of thousands more households would lose some SNAP benefits from the elimination of the connection between SNAP and the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). And counties would be paralyzed by the increased bureaucracy and cost of tracking hundreds of thousands of SNAP clients who would be required to document 20 hours of qualified work every week.

The House is ignoring what millions of people across the country know to be true: Protecting and strengthening SNAP — not cutting it — is the right way forward. That’s why Republicans and Democrats in the Senate have drafted a better approach: a bipartisan farm bill that does not take away food assistance from eligible households and makes smart investments to improve SNAP – The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018/S.3042.

It’s now up to the Senate to do better for New York. We urge Senators Schumer and Gillibrand to use their long-standing support of the SNAP program to encourage passage of the Senate farm bill and to reject any harmful amendments that would incorporate provisions from the House bill or make other changes that would take away food assistance from people who are struggling.

 

###

About Hunger Solutions New York, Inc.
Hunger Solutions New York is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to alleviating hunger. We promote awareness of hunger, participation in federally-funded nutrition assistance programs for all who are eligible, and public policies that contribute to ending hunger. We also raise awareness of the health, economic and educational benefits of anti-hunger programs. For more information, visit and www.hungersolutionsny.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

If you would like more information on SNAP and the Farm Bill, please contact Sherry Tomasky, Public Affairs Director for Hunger Solutions New York at (518) 414-2570 or [email protected]. Also, visit our comprehensive page on this topic: https://hungersolutionsny.org/snap-policy.