Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Farm Bill: cut the hungry, pad the well fed. . .

Mark Bittman's essay appearing recently in The New York Times demonstrates how about everything is increasingly "wired" to crush the weakest and lift even higher the strongest among us.

Cutting the Supplemental Nutrition Access Program (SNAP or more commonly Food Stamps) will hurt low-income working families, as well as the nation's food banks and organizations like CitySquare who work hard to assist in supplying the food and nutrition needs of our communities.

The other side of the farm bill relates to how it supports the interests of big agriculture at great cost to taxpayers, consumers and the environment.

Consider what Bittman says:

Welfare for the Wealthy

The critically important Farm Bill [1] is impenetrably arcane, yet as it worms its way through Congress, Americans who care about justice, health or the environment can parse enough of it to become outraged.
The legislation costs around $100 billion annually, determining policies on matters that are strikingly diverse. Because it affects foreign trade and aid, agricultural and nutritional research, and much more, it has global implications.
The Farm Bill finances food stamps (officially SNAP, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and the subsidies that allow industrial ag and monoculture — the “spray and pray” style of farming — to maintain their grip on the food “system.”
The bill is ostensibly revisited, refashioned and renewed every five years, but this round, scheduled to be re-enacted last year, has been in discussion since 2010, and a final bill is not in sight. Based on the current course of Congress it seems there will be an extension this fall, as there was in 2012. Extensions allow funding changes for individual “titles,” as programs are sometimes called; last year’s extensions didn’t do much damage, but this year’s threaten the well-being of tens of millions of Americans.
Read the entire piece here.  


Anonymous said...

I understand that 80% of the farm bill goes to the SNAP program. Geeze-- that sounds like a good deal.

80 million dollars was spent on food stamps in 2012, with an additional one million in 2013. I thought the economy was recovering.

Anonymous said...

Oops, it's 80 BILLION.

Anonymous said...

Do you ever read the links or look for actual facts before you comment? SNAP is actually about 67%of the Farm Bill. The other 33% goes mainly to paying large conglomerates to grow food they already would because its already profitable, or even worse to pay them for not growing food in the name of price supports. If you ask me, that's way too much. I wish 80% was SNAP.

Anonymous said...

Bill from senate--96 B annually

House--94 B. annually

80% goes to food stamps

Look it up