It’s good news for farmers, but bad news for low-income families. The House of Representatives recently passed a comprehensive $100 billion farm bill, which would cut federal spending by $23 billion over the next decade by ending unnecessary direct subsidies to farmers, putting in place a crop failure safety net, and slashing SNAP benefits by one percent, Reuters reports.
The bill is long overdue and comes after a long partisan debate about how much of the food stamps program to cut. In the end, the House passed a cut of $9 billion to the SNAP program. Farmers were relieved at the extra insurance.
“As we farmers like to say, farm bills are not created for the good times,” said Dale Moore, executive director for public policy at the American Farm Bureau. “It’s there if crops fail, but not if we’re having a good year.”
But not everyone is happy. Elected officials, advocates and celebrity chefs are pleading with the federal government to halt the cuts to SNAP. The SNAP cuts would impact 15 states, including New York, according to New York-based charity City Harvest.
“Children make up one of the largest groups of SNAP recipients. We have a responsibility to them as a nation to ensure they are well-nourished in order to excel in school, after school activities and beyond,” said Marc Murphy, Executive Chef and Owner of Benchmarc Restaurants. “We need to fight on their behalf, as well as their families, to make sure they get the necessary continued support."