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Healthier Foods for More People: PHI Statement on 2018 Farm Bill

December 21, 2018

STATEMENT BY MATTHEW MARSOM, VICE PRESIDENT FOR PUBLIC POLICY AND PROGRAMS

 

The Public Health Institute strongly supports the 2018 Farm Bill (the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018), now signed into law, and applauds the bipartisan leadership from the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. They forged an agreement that protects the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and SNAP nutrition education, critical programs that ensure no one goes hungry.

 

In particular, the Farm Bill rejects the harmful cuts proposed within the initial House bill to SNAP and proposed changes to SNAP nutrition education. Those changes would have had a devastating impact on low-income and vulnerable Americans facing hunger and food insecurity, and undermined efforts in states and communities to empower families to make healthier food choices.

 

We strongly welcome new proposals and funding in the bill that support increased access to healthy foods for low-income Americans. These include: increasing funding for the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grant program to $250 million over five years and making the program permanent; establishing a Produce Prescription Program so healthcare providers may prescribe fresh fruits and vegetables to low-income patients; and, ensuring that the highly successful Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program for low-income students continues to provide only fresh produce. PHI congratulates Congress on their collaborative efforts to put healthy food on the table for America's families. 

 

Proposed rulemaking that would tighten work requirements and impact at-risk families is not aligned with the intent of
SNAP— to make sure no family, working or not, goes hungry. We will work closely with allies from anti-hunger movement to push back against the proposal.