FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 23, 2018 – HARTFORD, CONN. – In the wake of last Friday’s rejection of the 2018 House Farm Bill by a vote of 198-213 in the U.S. House of Representatives, leaders of the Hungry For Change network said the vote creates an opportunity to reconsider the proposed legislation and to take a bipartisan approach to crafting a bill that meets the needs of the nation’s poor and working poor families. Hungry For Change is a network of food assistance organizations, food policy advocates, and concerned citizens that is a project of the Connecticut Food Bank, End Hunger Connecticut!, and Foodshare.
“Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives rejected the 2018 Farm Bill by a vote of 198-213. The network of food assistance and human services organizations that make up Hungry For Change remains concerned that the cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) included in the bill would increase hunger in America,” said Connecticut Food Bank CEO Bernie Beaudreau. “We now have an opportunity for the House to revisit this issue and work toward a strong farm bill with no cuts to SNAP.”
“Foodshare, the Connecticut Food Bank, and our partner feeding programs across Connecticut see firsthand the struggles our neighbors face when they can’t put enough food on the table,” said Foodshare President and CEO Jason Jakubowski. “The bill’s proposed cuts to SNAP would devastate people who struggle to make ends meet here in Connecticut and across the country, leaving our food banks unable to fill the gap.”
“While we firmly support the concept of work and self-sufficiency, the additional work requirements tied to SNAP in the House bill go too far,” said End Hunger Connecticut! Executive Director Shannon Yearwood. “Rather than placing Americans on a path to a better life, these requirements would erect impossible hurdles and make no allowance for increased financial burdens, such as child care or transportation, let alone the challenges older Americans face in finding employment. The Bill also included a provision that would financially harm Connecticut schools and take food away from students across the state, which is simply unacceptable.”
“We would like to thank the Connecticut members of the House of Representatives for their ongoing leadership on this issue,” Beaudreau said. “They have consistently voted to defend and support programs that help feed people in need.” Yearwood added that, “while they helped to defeat this wrongheaded bill, we can’t relax. The House is set to bring the Farm Bill back for a vote on June 22. And a Senate version is coming soon.”
Beaudreau, Jakubowski, and Yearwood agreed that there was still need for action on the bill and encouraged SNAP recipients past or present and others who believe in meeting basic human needs to keep up contact with their legislators to highlight the importance of this issue.
“When we stand together in support of stronger, healthier communities, we can make a real difference for people who are struggling to survive,” Jakubowski said. “Please do what you can to make your concern, and your voice, heard.”
About Hungry For Change:
Hungry For Change is a project of the Connecticut Food Bank, End Hunger Connecticut!, and Foodshare, along with membership of their networks and allies in organizations devoted to human service and community development.