PHI Statement on Passage of Farm Bill
February 07, 2014
STATEMENT FROM MATTHEW MARSOM, VICE PRESIDENT FOR PUBLIC POLICY AND PROGRAMS
“Today the President signed into law a new bipartisan farm bill that provides greater certainty for the country’s food and agriculture system, including many federal nutrition assistance programs, for the next five years.
“PHI is deeply disappointed in cuts that come at the expense of families already struggling to meet basic nutritional needs. This bill cuts Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps, by $8.6 billion dollars, reducing benefit levels by about $90 per month for 850,000 SNAP households that also participate in the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Hunger remains a serious public health concern in every county in every state.
“Still, Congress came together to support other initiatives in the farm bill to improve access to affordable, quality nutrition for those most vulnerable to hunger. Funding levels for state SNAP nutrition education programs are maintained. SNAP retailer standards and stocking requirements are strengthened to ensure SNAP participants have access to more healthy choices when shopping with SNAP benefits. The Healthy Food Financing Initiative is authorized as a USDA program, increasing access to grocery stores and other food retailers in underserved communities. The bill also establishes a new initiative, Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Grants, which will incentivize SNAP participants to increase their purchase and consumption of fruits and vegetables.
“PHI now looks ahead toward implementation of these important farm bill nutrition initiatives and to our continued efforts to provide nutrition education to low-income children and families that helps prevent hunger, improve diets and increase physical activity. PHI is committed to working with Congress, the administration and our partners to make the most of the opportunities in this farm bill to address the public health challenges of hunger and poor nutrition, especially among low-income children and households."