‘We stand united’ to protect SNAP, say ag panel Democrats
House Democrats announced their opposition to further cuts in SNAP on Wednesday amid signs the farm bill will be the next battlefront over work requirements for safety net programs. “We stand united against efforts to take food away from children, families, or any vulnerable American — in the farm bill or any legislation,” said Rep. David Scott, the senior Democrat on the Agriculture Committee.
McCarthy: ‘Let’s get the rest of the work requirements’
An exultant House Speaker Kevin McCarthy twice suggested House Republicans would seek more stringent work requirements for the government’s safety net programs now that the House overwhelmingly approved a debt ceiling bill that also limits federal spending. “Think about how much further we can go,” McCarthy told reporters.
Think tank says SNAP time limit would hit California the hardest
One in six of the older Americans targeted by an expansion of SNAP work requirements in the debt ceiling bill negotiated by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Biden lives in California, said the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities on Wednesday.
More schools offer free meals to all students
Four of every five eligible schools in high-poverty areas have adopted the community eligibility provision, which allows them to offer free breakfast and lunch to all students, said the Food Research and Action Center on Wednesday.
Projects will test outreach strategies for WIC
While four out of every five eligible Americans are enrolled in SNAP, participation in the Women, Infants, and Children program is much lower — 50 percent, say USDA data. On Thursday, the government announced $16 million in funding for 36 projects to test ways to encourage participation in WIC.
Stricter limit on SNAP benefits faces vote in House committee
House Republicans proposed broader application of a 90-day limit on food stamps for able-bodied adults as part of the annual USDA-FDA funding bill on Wednesday. The proposal mirrors the GOP position in debt ceiling negotiations with President Biden.
Farm bill chair Thompson supports cuts in food stamps
House Republican leaders unveiled a 320-page bill that would cut federal spending by $130 billion in the new fiscal year, including wider application of a 90-day limit on SNAP benefits to people working less than 20 hours a week. Agriculture Committee chair Glenn Thompson said the leadership’s bill “is a sensible proposal” to rein in federal spending.
Pandemic ‘bump’ to WIC would become permanent in USDA plan
The Agriculture Department proposed an update to the WIC program on Thursday that would let participants buy three, or even four, times as many fruits and vegetables and would broaden the range of foods available through the program to reflect the diversity of the American diet. The expansion of fruit and vegetable allowances would increase WIC spending by 14 percent and require Congress to appropriate additional money to the $6 billion-a-year program.
Food stamp fights are possible in 2023 farm bill, says Stabenow
Although lawmakers may try to cut SNAP benefits as part of the farm bill due in 2023, “we’re not going backwards,” said Senate Agriculture Committee chair Debbie Stabenow at a food conference on Thursday. Deadline for the bill is Sept. 30, although “oftentimes there has to be an extension. So that may happen.”
Hunger conference is partisan gathering, say House Republicans
The White House forfeited its opportunity for a bipartisan outcome of its hunger conference next week, so it should expect open skepticism about its recommendations, said five senior House Republicans on Wednesday.
Make school lunches free again, say House Democrats
Nearly one of every four Democrats in the House signed a letter to congressional leaders on Thursday, asking for a return to universal free school lunches and breakfasts.
USDA releases $1.9 billion for food banks and school meals
Emergency food providers, such as food banks and school meal programs, will receive an additional $1.9 billion for the purchase of U.S.-grown foods, said the Agriculture Department on Wednesday.
House panel votes to expand child nutrition programs
More children would be eligible for free school meals and the WIC program would cover children up to age 6 under legislation approved on a party-line vote by the House Education and Labor Committee on Wednesday. While the bill’s Democratic sponsors claimed it will reduce child hunger, Republican Rep. Lisa McClain said it “is chock-full of new spending” when austerity is needed to dampen high inflation.
Senate ping-pongs school nutrition bill back to House for final approval
The House and Senate passed different versions of a slimmed-down $3 billion extension of school nutrition waivers within hours of each other on Thursday, leaving to the House a final vote on the legislation on Friday. “I look forward to the president signing this into law,” said Senate Agriculture Committee chair Debbie Stabenow.
One in six needed food assistance in 2021, says Feeding America report
More than 53 million Americans turned to food banks, pantries, and meal programs last year, one-third more than before the pandemic, said Feeding America, a network of food banks and hunger relief groups, on Wednesday.
SNAP costs too much, program needs revisions, say House Republicans
Warning that “pandemic aid is morphing into endemic aid,” the Republican leader on the House Agriculture Committee said on Wednesday that it was time to rein in food stamp spending. Other farm-state Republicans called for stricter eligibility rules as a way to push people into the workforce and said SNAP “promotes a perverse business of poverty.”
As pandemic persists, broad coalition urges Congress to continue school food waivers
Congress should allow an additional year of federal waivers that make all children eligible for free meals at public schools, said nearly 2,000 anti-hunger, medical, religious and farm groups on Monday. The waivers are scheduled to expire on June 30 but the pandemic is far from over, said the groups in a letter to leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations committees.
Free school meals will end with the school year, lawmakers decide
Pandemic-fighting waivers that allow schools to serve meals for free to all students will expire on June 30, House and Senate appropriators agreed on Wednesday, despite a campaign to continue universal free meals in the upcoming 2022-23 school year. An anti-hunger advocate said that millions of children will “face a hunger cliff when they lose access to summer and school meals.”
Leaders of all House committees call for hunger conference
In a letter to President Biden, the leaders of every House committee said on Wednesday that the pandemic had revealed the extent of hunger in America. "We call on you to convene a national conference on food, nutrition, hunger, and health ... to design a roadmap to end hunger in America by 2030," they wrote.