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Farm Bill 101




The Farm Bill is a package of legislation passed roughly once every five years that has a tremendous impact on farming livelihoods, how food is grown, and what kinds of foods are grown. Covering programs ranging from crop insurance for farmers to healthy food access for low-income families, the farm bill sets the stage for our food and farm systems.


As an advocate for policies and programs that lift North Carolina families and address food insecurity, it’s our job to make sure that this important bill is good for farmers, the natural environment, and the families we serve.


The last Farm Bill was signed into law on December 20, 2018 and will expire on September 30, 2023. In the House, the Agriculture Committee develops the Farm Bill. In the Senate, the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry develops the Farm Bill.


WHY IS THE FARM BILL IMPORTANT TO OUR WORK


Title IV, the “nutrition title,” in the Farm Bill authorizes several federal nutrition programs and comprises approximately 75% of the funding in the Farm Bill. Among the federal nutrition programs authorized by the Farm Bill are the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).


Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps)

  • SNAP is the nation’s first line of defense against hunger.

  • For every meal Second Harvest Food Bank provides, SNAP provides nine.

  • From October 2021 to November 2022: — almost 69% of SNAP participants were families with children and — almost 33% were in families with seniors or persons with disabilities.

  • SNAP helps people who are paid low wages afford food and continue to work, particularly as they face high food prices due to inflation.

  • On average, participants receive only about 45 cents per person per day in food benefits.


SNAP PRIORITIES IN THE NEXT FARM BILL

  • Increase SNAP’s purchasing power by basing benefits on the Low-Cost Food Plan.

  • Streamline SNAP eligibility and enrollment to improve access for older adults, college students, immigrants, and other people facing barriers.

  • Better assist individuals seeking employment by bolstering support for effective state employment and training programs and ensuring people receive adequate SNAP benefits as they find work.


THE EMERGENCY FOOD ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (TEFAP)


  • TEFAP is the cornerstone of the emergency food assistance program and accounts for 38% of the product that Second Harvest Food Bank distributed in FY 2022.

  • TEFAP moves food from farms to food banks to individuals and families facing hunger and means more healthy foods on dinner tables across northwest North Carolina.

  • Strengthening TEFAP means more purchases from local growers and producers – a boon for the bottom line of NC’s agricultural economy.

  • The Storage and Distribution reimbursement for receiving, storing, and distributing TEFAP product covers only 24% of the actual cost to Second Harvest.

TEFAP PRIORITIES IN THE NEXT FARM BILL

  • Reauthorize and increase to $500 million per year mandatory funding for TEFAP food purchases, adjusted for inflation to help battle food insecurity while supporting local farmers.

  • Reauthorize and increase to $200 million per year discretionary funding for TEFAP Storage and Distribution to help cover more (up to 40%) of real costs for this program.

  • Reauthorize $15 million per year in discretionary funding for TEFAP infrastructure grants to build capacity to store and deliver TEFAP product, especially in rural areas.


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GET IN TOUCH

Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC

3655 Reed St. 

Winston-Salem, NC 27107

hello@hungernwnc.org

Tel: 336-784-5770

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