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Farm Bill Clears House Agriculture Committee; Drastic Cuts in Food Stamp Program17 Jul

Contact your Representative today to make sure that the 2012 Farm Bill feeds the hungry, preserves God’s creation, and supports small family farmers and rural America.

In an earlier post CCK described the need for action to insure that the Farm Bill the House of Representatives passes focuses on the needs of people who are hungry and poor. Bishop Stephen Blaire, Bishop Richard Pates, James Ennis, executive director of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference and Carolyn Woo, president of Catholic Relief Services, had written the committee saying that a just Farm Bill “cannot rely on disproportionate cuts to essential services for hungry, poor and vulnerable people.” They affirmed the need to protect programs that “feed poor and vulnerable people, serve small and moderate-sized family farms, promote stewardship of creation and help rural communities both at home and abroad prosper.”

The letter highlighted positive elements in the Committee’s Farm Bill proposal to support international food aid to the poorest countries and to increase funding for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which will help churches and other charities serve hungry people. The letter expressed concern over more than $16 billion in proposed cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps), stating, “To cut programs that feed hungry people in the midst of economic turmoil is unjustified and wrong.”

Nonetheless, the Committee voted to cut the food stamp program by $16 billion. On July 12 the New York Times reported

The food stamp program would take a $16.5 billion cut over the next 10 years. The bill also makes changes to eligibility requirements, and the Congressional Budget Office said two million to three million people would lose their food stamp benefits. Nearly 300,000 children would also be ineligible for the free lunch program under the new bill, the budget office found.

Please take a moment to contact your member of the House of Representatives and ask him to push for a Farm Bill that does not take away food from hungry Americans by cutting the food stamp program to this level.

Contact your Representative today to make sure that the 2012 Farm Bill feeds the hungry, preserves God’s creation, and supports small family farmers and rural America.

The Congressional Budget Office has found that nearly 99 percent of food stamp participants live in poverty. Surely there are better ways to craft a Farm Bill than to deny people food while continuing to subsidize large agricultural corporations.

Photo: Licensed under Creative Commons by kPluto

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