The Farm Bill is important to food banks and other anti-hunger campaigns. Food banks are important to helping with food assistance in the country and our local communities, but they are only able to provide approximately 5% of this assistance. If government programs like the Farm Bill are cut, then organizations will be pushed beyond their capacity, increasing hunger throughout our communities.
If you’re a part of a food bank, local food pantry or a local organization like the North State Food Bank, it’s important to educate yourself about the upcoming Farm Bill and how you can make your voice heard.
Posted by: California Association of Food Banks
The Farm Bill is the nation’s most critical piece of food and farming legislation. It represents the primary federal investment in the country’s largest anti-hunger programs including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, known as CalFresh in California) and other core programs like (TEFAP), which provides essential commodities to food banks and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), which provides vital nutrition for elderly and homebound individuals…
Some form of the Farm Bill has been a part of history since Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal in 1933. Since it expires every 5 years, it’s constantly changing and growing. The most recent Farm Bill was in 2014 and focused on nutrition programs like SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) – making up 80% of the bill.
The House Agriculture Committee is already researching for the next Farm Bill, and the SNAP program is facing large cuts in the proposed House budget. Many food bank partners are showing strong support for keeping the nutrition program as part of the Farm Bill.
So, how does the Farm Bill help an organization like CAA’s North State Food Bank? Tom Tenorio, CEO of the Community Action Agency, comments below:
“Food banks are a community resource that cannot do their work in a bubble," agreed Tom Tenorio, CEO of the Community Action Agency of Butte County. "For many food banks, one important partner is the agricultural community, which helps provide nutritious food. Another vital lifeline is the nutrition safety net, which has become a support system for food banks savvy to the fact that more can be accomplished with more partners. The intentional inclusion of governmental programs like SNAP, TEFAP, and CSFP have become key to the vision of food banks helping households to not only not be hungry but also be healthier. As a part of that network of groups with strong interests in conditions impacted by a good or bad Farm Bill, it is appropriate for food banks to ensure that they are a part of the debate.”
The CAA’s North State Food Bank collects and distributes food throughout the service region encompassing Butte, Glenn, Colusa, Plumas, Sierra and Tehama counties. We work in partnership with Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity and many local partners.
Within the partnerships we have, the North State Food Bank offers multiple programs to help low income families get the food and nutrition they need each month.