Senate Vote, 86-11, Preserves Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

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Millions of Americans depend on SNAP. Source USDA.

After a large majority of Senators voted against an amendment to significantly cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, the full U.S. Senate just overwhelmingly (86-11) passed a bi-partisan Farm Bill, which would enact neither significant cuts nor significant increases in the SNAP Program.

In contrast, on June 21, the U.S. House of Representatives voted, on party lines, to pass, by only two votes, a G.O.P. Farm Bill that would, if enacted, taken billions of dollars’ worth of SNAP benefits away from millions of struggling Americans.

“41 million Americans – roughly the combined populations of Texas and all of New England – still struggle against hunger. Such massive levels of hunger harm the nation economically and spiritually," said Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America, a nationwide advocacy and service organization. "The average SNAP benefit now equals only $1.36 per meal, far too low to pay for full, nutritious meals. Because ending hunger would lift us all, we believe any truly effective Farm Bill would slash hunger by significantly boosting SNAP benefits. Judged on that basis, the Senate Farm Bill – which leaves in place a horrid hunger status quo nationwide – falls far short."

He added: "However, the common-sense, bi-partisan, Senate bill is head-and-shoulders above the horrid, partisan, House bill, which would take a wrecking ball to the anti-hunger safety net, by taking away billions of dollars’ worth of SNAP from millions of low-income Americans. If the House does not agree to the Senate bill as is, then they should pass no Farm Bill at all sessions, and instead they should re-authorize the existing law for the year. We would then hope the new Congress, next January, would start from scratch and pass a progressive Farm Bill that slashes hunger, aids small farmers, creates jobs, protects the environment, boosts nutrition, improves food safety, and benefits consumers.”

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