FARM BILL WILL AFFECT THE FUTURE OF SNAP

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the nation’s first line of defense against hunger, providing struggling families with a stable source of food. In a typical month, this federal program serves approximately 20 million children — roughly one out of every four children in the United States and one out of every three preschoolers.

In Kansas, 136,700 children, or 19% of the state’s children, received SNAP in 2014; in Missouri, 363,300 children, or 26% of the state’s children, were SNAP recipients.     

Extensive research shows that SNAP plays a critical role, not just in alleviating poverty and food insecurity, but in improving dietary intake and health, especially among children. Adequate nutrition during a mother’s pregnancy and a child’s infancy and early childhood is essential to growth, health and development. The rapidly increasing size and function of the brain from birth to preschool requires high levels of nutrition. One recent study found that receipt of SNAP in early childhood improved high school graduation rates, adult earnings and adult health. 

Children raised in households without enough nutritious food are more likely to suffer poor health, face deficits in cognitive development, and exhibit behavioral and emotional problems. 

What Are Our Legislators Doing?

On Wednesday, September 5, a Congressional conference committee will be looking at 2018 Farm Bills passed respectively by the House and Senate. The House bill, approved along party lines, would cut two million people from SNAP, including tens of thousands in Kansas and Missouri, and increase bureaucracy through stringent work-hour tracking.

The Senate bill amending the House legislation was approved with strong bipartisan support, including the four senators from Missouri and Kansas. This bill:

  • does not take food assistance away from eligible households, and
  • allows more states to participate in employment and training programs set up in the last bipartisan farm bill and dedicates more funding to the pilot program.

SNAP is one of our nation’s most powerful and effective poverty-reduction programs and provides an economic boost to communities. It’s impact on children can last a lifetime. 

How Can I Help?

To protect the health and well-being of millions of children and families, we must encourage policy makers to protect and strengthen nutrition programs by supporting the U.S. Senate's bipartisan Farm Bill.

  • Call or email your legislators! Look up your senators here and your representatives here
    • You can also thank Missouri’s and Kansas’ senators for their action on the Senate bill!
  • Tweet and post Facebook messages to your representatives and senators as well. Don't forget to use the hashtag #ProtectSNAP.

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