Farm Bill proposal would take food from thousands of Alabamians, jeopardize rural communities

Arise Citizens’ Policy Project policy analyst Carol Gundlach issued the following statement Friday, April 13, 2018, in response to the release of the draft 2018 Farm Bill by Republicans on the U.S. House Agriculture Committee:

The proposed Farm Bill would increase hunger and hardship across Alabama by undercutting the best anti-poverty program we have: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This program helps nearly 900,000 Alabamians afford groceries and lifts 195,000 of them out of poverty.

“SNAP plays an essential role in supporting Alabama’s economy, improving public health and boosting rural communities. But rather than supporting SNAP, the proposed Farm Bill would take away or cut food assistance for thousands of struggling Alabamians, including parents, people with disabilities, low-wage workers, older workers and people who are temporarily between jobs.

“This proposal would shift funding away from food assistance to a new, unworkable and woefully underfunded employment and training system that will do little to help people actually find jobs. We cannot allow this attack on SNAP to derail the historically bipartisan Farm Bill that helps nearly one in five Alabamians put food on the table.

“Senators Doug Jones and Richard Shelby should commit now to reject this draft Farm Bill and oppose SNAP cuts that would hurt everyday Americans. We need a bipartisan Farm Bill that supports our communities, strengthens core SNAP food assistance and invests in real, comprehensive job training and education programs to give low-wage workers the opportunity to climb the economic ladder.”

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