Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida Statement on House Rejection of the 2018 Farm Bill
CENTRAL FLORIDA – “Today, the U.S. House of Representatives rejected the 2018 Farm Bill by a vote of 198-213. Second Harvest Food Bank remains concerned that the cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) included in the bill would increase hunger in Central Florida. This vote presents an opportunity for the House to revisit the proposed cuts to federal nutrition assistance, and we urge Members of Congress to work together on a bipartisan basis before reconsideration of the Farm Bill.
“Our food bank sees firsthand the struggles families, seniors, veterans, and children in our community face when they are food insecure. Our work to reduce hunger relies upon strong federal nutrition programs to do so. For every meal provided by our food bank, SNAP provides 12. The bill’s SNAP cuts would devastate Americans facing hunger and leave our food bank unable to fill the gap.
“While we firmly support the concept of work and fostering self-sufficiency through the SNAP program, the additional requirements imposed by the House bill go too far. Rather than placing Americans on a path to a better life, they would erect impossible hurdles and make no allowance for increased financial burdens, such as child care or transportation, let alone the challenges older Americans face in finding employment. At present, the average duration of unemployment in this country is nearly six months. It is unrealistic to expect people facing hardship to perform to a higher standard.
“As the bill process continues in the House and Senate, we encourage leaders in both chambers to approach this legislation from the bipartisan mindset that strengthening key nutrition programs is the best way to put individuals on a pathway to a better life.”