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2X Match Deadline Extended

Hunger is on the rise across Colorado.

Now through April 30, your donation will be matched to make 2X the impact for our neighbors.

Help address the emergency level of need in our region while your gift = 2X the impact!

× Child smiling.

Hunger is on the rise across Colorado.

Now through midnight on April 30, your donation will be matched to make 2X the impact for our neighbors.

Help address the emergency level of need in our region while your gift = 2X the impact!

DONATE:

Food Bank of the Rockies’ Response to the Recently Proposed Farm Bill Draft

Mobile food pantry line at Colorado Community Church in Aurora.

The significance of the farm bill in combating food insecurity in our region and across the United States cannot be overstated. As mentioned in our recent blog, more Americans than ever are struggling to put food on the table and are turning to food banks for help. Unfortunately, the proposed bill text the House Agriculture Committee released recently is cause for concern.

The farm bill plays a pivotal role in addressing food insecurity, yet policy changes proposed by the bill make cuts to crucial federal nutrition programs that help millions of people access the food they need to thrive.

Food insecurity rates in our region and across the U.S. are the highest recorded since 2014. In 2022, the number of people living in food-insecure households increased to 44 million across the country, including 13 million children. In Colorado, one in nine people experience food insecurity, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The upcoming farm bill is a crucial opportunity to quickly reduce hunger in our community and support the work of food banks like Food Bank of the Rockies.

While the farm bill proposed by the House does include several limited improvements to nutrition programs, those are vastly outweighed by provisions that would weaken the government’s ability to provide vital resources to people facing hunger. In particular, the bill would prevent future benefits of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) from reflecting costs associated with updated nutrition guidance and the ways people shop and cook. This would cut nearly $30 billion in food assistance benefits, which would impact all future SNAP recipients, including children, older adults, and people with disabilities. In turn, this would increase pressure on the nation’s already strained food banks. The bill would also make concerning changes to SNAP that could threaten the dignity of neighbors to choose the foods that work best for them and their families.

Among the positive changes proposed, the bill includes provisions that increase eligibility and access to SNAP, including for older adults and individuals with drug felony convictions. It also includes a provision to allow Indian Tribes and Tribal organizations to enter into self-determination contracts with the USDA to administer SNAP.

Another program in the farm bill that is vital to increasing people’s access to nutritious foods is The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which moves food from U.S. producers through food banks to families facing hunger. Providing crucial investments in TEFAP not only ensures that families can access nutrient-dense food but also bolsters the U.S. farm economy. Currently, the House farm bill provides an additional $40 million per year for TEFAP entitlement food purchases. This is far less than what is needed to meet the significant increase in demand Food Bank of the Rockies and food banks across the country are seeing. The bill would also limit the USDA’s authority to use Commodity Credit Corporation funds without explicit Congressional approval, creating a barrier for the USDA when it comes to providing additional funds to purchase food distributed through TEFAP.

As the farm bill process moves forward, Food Bank of the Rockies urges Congress to work together to pass bipartisan legislation that will strengthen and protect the federal nutrition programs that provide food assistance to ensure everyone in our region and across the nation has access to nutritious food.

Learn more about how the farm bill works to support our neighbors facing food insecurity.

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