Farm Bill Update: Take Action Today!
6.14.2012 The U.S. Senate is considering the Farm Bill this week and next, debating amendments to the bill passed by the Senate Agriculture Committee. The currently proposed bill, S.3402, includes a $4.5 billion cut to SNAP over 10 years by reducing the ability of states to take part in the "Heat and Eat" program.
The cut would mean that an estimated 500,000 households a year across the country could lose up to $90 per month in SNAP benefits (Congressional Budget Office estimate). CFPA estimates that in California, "Heat and Eat" would result in increased benefits for a significant number of households and simplification of the benefit calculation process for all. We believe these impacts are significant, particularly considering the relatively slow economic recovery and the upcoming drop in CalFresh benefits due to the end of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) SNAP benefit enhancement. Most harmed will be those for whom verification of utility costs can be difficult, like seniors and the disabled. Combined with other efforts to streamline paperwork and ease the application process for clients and administrators, implementation of the Heat and Eat option will contribute positively to the overall CalFresh application process.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has proposed an amendment to the Farm Bill that restores the $4.5 billion cut to SNAP and invests $500 million the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Snack program. She has circulated a "Dear Colleague Letter" in the Senate asking for other Senator to cosponsor the amendment.
Take a look at Senator Gillibrand's proposed Farm Bill amendment. link
Senator Boxer has joined a bipartisan group of Senators in endorsing the Gillibrand amendment. Please ask Senator Feinstein to add her voice and vote to restore the $4.5 billion cut to SNAP proposed by the Senate Agriculture Committee. Call 202.224.3841.