04/18/2018 - The U.S. House Agriculture Committee advanced the farm bill, H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, out of committee by a vote of 26 to 20. The bill would make changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, our nation's most effective anti-hunger program. These changes could weaken or eliminate coverage and benefits impacting millions of people.
The Academy remains concerned that the bill would make it more difficult for millions of people in need to receive SNAP benefits and could result in children losing access to free school meals. The bill would also consolidate and make additional changes to the two nutrition education programs in the farm bill, SNAP-Ed and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, potentially creating disruptions to these effective nutrition education programs.
The bill would open up the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program to all forms of fruits and vegetables undermining the integrity of the program. For many children, this program exposes them to a much larger selection of fresh fruits and vegetables, and serves as a good educational opportunity.
As the bill moves to the House floor for a vote, likely in May, the Academy asks Congress to work together for a bipartisan solution that keeps SNAP-Ed and EFNEP intact and fully funded, and builds on SNAP's strengths and the other nutrition programs that shore up its successes. Effective nutrition education strategies in combination and coordination with nutrition assistance programs ensure that federal investments in these programs are optimized.