Proposed Farm Bill Won't Cut U.S. or Intl. Food Aid

(Photo Credit: Bread for the World/Rick Reinhard)Rev. David Beckmann, president of anti-hunger advocacy group Bread for the World speaks at the opening plenary session at the organizatin's 2011 Gathering on June 11, 2011.

The head of a leading anti-hunger advocacy group welcomed a proposal by a top U.S. legislator that will not cut funding for programs providing food aid for people in need in the U.S. and abroad.

Bread for the World president Rev. David Beckmann issued a statement Tuesday after expectations grew that the House of Representatives would vote on a disaster relief bill proposed by Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) that includes a one-year extension of a farm bill.

The bill offsets disaster payments with cuts to direct payments and protects fundingand protects funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) and international food aid.

"We welcome Speaker Boehner's proposal to protect nutrition and food aid programs in the disaster relief bill," said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. "Unlike other proposals we've seen from the House, this bill does not cut one dime from SNAP or international food aid. Given the economic realities families are facing across the United States and around the world, protecting these programs is a must."
More than 46 million people in the U.S. depend on SNAP. U.S. international emergency food aid helped more than 66 million people around the world.

The proposal by Speaker Boehner will extend the farm bill through September 30, 2013. The disaster bill will help farmers and ranchers affected by the current summer drought.

"I would prefer a full reauthorization that maintains strong funding for SNAP and international food aid while making necessary reforms to our nation's food and farm policies," Rev. Beckmann said. "Still, we are grateful for a proposal that maintains a circle of protection."

The organization is also pushing for a longer-term reauthorization that will strengthen SNAP and provide more international food aid.

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