December 14, 2018 – This week, Congress passed the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (the farm bill), the federal legislation that renews and updates agriculture policy and important nutrition programs—including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps). The president is expected to sign the bill next week.
“We are incredibly pleased that Congress had the compassion to pass a bipartisan farm bill that maintains SNAP benefit levels and access,” said Susannah Morgan, Oregon Food Bank CEO. “SNAP serves as the first line of defense against hunger in Oregon and SW Washington for hundreds of thousands of our friends and neighbors who struggle to make ends meet. We’re grateful to the members of the Oregon and Washington congressional delegations that have stood strong against SNAP cuts throughout the farm bill process that started in 2017.”
The original House farm bill proposal included SNAP cuts that would have reduced or entirely eliminated benefits for nearly 1 out of every 4 Oregonians who utilize the program. The Senate passed a bill without SNAP cuts by a strong margin.
In addition to SNAP, the farm bill also renews The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), a program that provides food and financial assistance to food banks. The bill increases food purchase funding, which will benefit hunger-relief efforts across the country.
The bill also increases and makes permanent funding for other programs that benefit Oregonians and Oregon agriculture—including those that serve farmers markets, beginning farmers and ranchers, and socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers.