USDA climate funding targeted in debt-limit fight

The House Freedom Caucus called for the elimination of "billions (of dollars) of wasteful climate spending," — a category that would include $20 billion given to USDA conservation programs — as part of an agreement to raise the federal debt limit.

Perdue names former House staffer to run USDA nutrition agency

Brandon Lipps, who helped engineer $8.6 billion in food stamp cuts in the 2014 farm law, is the new administrator of USDA's Food and Nutrition Service, which oversees food stamps, school lunch and other public nutrition programs. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the appointment of Lipps and two senior nutrition officials a day ahead of a trip, scheduled for today, to a summer meal site for school-aged children.

Bipartisan criticism of Trump nutrition cuts at House hearing

Two senior Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee said President Trump's proposals to cut public feeding programs at home and abroad would increase hunger in the world. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said a high-ranking Republican's defense of the Food for Peace program — targeted for elimination — was "essentially irrefutable" without suggesting the program would be saved.

For low-wage workers, food stamps are a bridge, says think tank

Some of the most common occupations in the United States have low wages, unpredictable hours and few benefits, says a report by the think tank Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Most workers who participate in food stamps, formally named the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), are in service, administrative support and sales occupations, it says.

Immigrants refuse food stamps over deportation fears

Nervous that applying for food stamps will hurt their immigration status or put them at risk of deportation, immigrants are dropping food relief services. “Officials at Manna Food Center in Montgomery County, Md., report that about 20 percent of the 561 families they have helped apply for food stamps, or SNAP benefits, in the past few months have asked that their cases be closed,” says NPR.

Food stamp benefits are ‘inadequate,’ says House antihunger leader

Massachusetts Rep. Jim McGovern says he will employ six priorities as the House Agriculture Committee works on food stamps as part of the 2018 farm bill, beginning with "benefits should not be cut" and the monthly benefit of $126 "is inadequate." The lead Democrat on the nutrition subcommittee, McGovern released his list of priorities as a rebuttal to a report released in December by the committee chairman, Michael Conaway of Texas.

States should push food-stamp recipients to work, says Conaway

After two years of hearings on the "past, present and future" of food stamps, the premier U.S. antihunger program, the House Agriculture Committee chairman says states "must ensure those who can work do" so. "There is concern that general work requirements are not adequately enforced," said chairman Michael Conaway in a 66-page report, referring to provisions dating from 1971 that working-age recipients should register for work and accept a suitable job if it is offered.