Farm Bill on the Way to the President’s Desk

Congress has reached a compromise on the long debated Farm bill and both the House and Senate have voted on the final version. There are some cuts included in the bill; however, many good provisions were included. Below is a summary of impact on the Food Stamp program from Feeding America’s Hungry.

•$8.55 billion cut to SNAP by tightening the “Heat and Eat” policy, which would affect the following states: California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.

•$205 million increase for TEFAP. The TEFAP funding is expected to be frontloaded to provide greater resources in the initial few years of the bill when need is especially high.

•New dairy program that triggers a dairy product donation to nonprofits like food banks when dairy prices fall below a certain level.

•$250 million for states to pilot innovative programs help SNAP participants get back to work.

•Clarifies allowable SNAP outreach activities (for example, forbids outreach workers from receiving rewards on a per-head basis for number of applications processed).

•Improves SNAP access by allowing SNAP home delivery for homebound seniors and disabled participants.

•Promotes access to nutritious food by tightening stocking requirements for SNAP retailers and testing new ways to use EBT cards (for example, swiping on a mobile device at a farmers’ market).

•Improves SNAP integrity through new measures to combat trafficking of benefits by retailers and recipients and policy changes forbidding benefits for lottery winners and affluent college students.

•Protects SNAP nutrition education.

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