It passed. After three years of fighting, the Farm Bill finally passed. Now it goes to the President for his signature and we expect he will sign it into law.
When we started this process three years ago, we had two goals in mind: protect SNAP and increase food to our food banks through the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). The results were mixed—while we fell short of our first goal, your determination helped limit the cuts to SNAP and increase funding for emergency food by $205 million. That is no small feat.
Even with the prevention of the most harmful cuts, any reduction in SNAP benefits will have a significant impact. The $8.6 billion cut means that 850,000 SNAP recipients will lose an average of $90 in monthly benefits. That's not a talking point. That's real food for families that are struggling.
Though the bill isn't perfect, I'm so grateful for your dedicated support and am amazed by what we were able to accomplish together.
You sent more than 200,000 emails to Congress during this Farm Bill. You made more than 20,000 phone calls through our hotline. Along the way, we defeated much deeper cuts and harmful policy changes that would have increased hunger in America. It all points to one simple truth—we have become a force, a powerful voice for the hungry. And with your help, we will only grow stronger.
They say laws are like sausages—you should never watch them being made. After three years of working on this Farm Bill, I can certainly attest to that. But that doesn't diminish the importance of what we are doing. In fact, we will need to double our efforts in light of the new challenges we face.
We at Feeding America have asked much of you to help protect hunger relief programs that are part of the Farm Bill. So now it's time to say "thank you." As always, our fight continues.
Brett Weisel is the Director of Advocacy for Feeding America.