06/28/2018 - The U.S. Senate passed its version of the 2018 farm bill with strong bipartisan support on June 28 with a vote of 86-11. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics supports the Senate farm bill, S.Amdt. 3224 to H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, which continues to build on successful nutrition programs with strategic investments to further strengthen nutrition programs to ensure critical food access for families in need, continue advancement in agricultural research and support nutrition education to empower people to make lasting, healthful food choices.
By passing this farm bill, the Senate affirmed the importance of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by protecting the integrity of the program, making targeted improvements to the program for seniors and people with disabilities, and modernizing systems and technology. SNAP helps one in eight Americans put food on the table and keeps more than 8 million people out of poverty, including nearly 4 million children.
The Senate bill would also positively impact a number of other nutrition programs including streamlining the application process for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, increasing investments in the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Program and establishing a new pilot program to evaluate the effectiveness of a produce "prescription" program.
The Academy applauds the Senate for its bipartisan approach to the farm bill, and thanks Chairman Pat Roberts (Kan.) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) for their leadership. This clears the way for the two chambers to hammer out their differences before voting on a negotiated version of the legislation and moving the final bill to the president's desk for his signature.
The Academy asks that the Senate and House of Representatives work together to advance a farm bill in a timely fashion that improves health for all, especially those most at risk for experiencing food insecurity.