What does the Farm Bill mean to the Food Bank and the people we serve?

In the 34-counties the Food Bank serves, approximately 16% of people are food insecure, including: 1 in 3 children; approximately 1 in 10 senior citizens; and many members of our veteran community. The Food Bank operates Farm Bill programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) to provide food to our community.

SNAP

SNAP works by giving people a helping hand when they need it most. In fiscal year 2018, the Food Bank helped people in need complete more than 1,482 applications to receive SNAP benefits, which led to 1.1 million more meals in our community. SNAP supports the whole North Carolina food chain — from farmers and growers, to local retailers and manufacturers, to the working poor.

TEFAP

TEFAP is essential to the work of the Food Bank. Last year, it provided almost 20% of the food that was distributed through local hunger-relief agencies last year. In fiscal year 2018, through TEFAP, the Food Bank provided more than 4 million meals.

CSFP

CSFP is often a program of last resort for seniors who qualify for no other form of nutrition assistance, but desperately need help. Each box includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, protein, and dairy. The Food Bank operates CSFP in: 16 counties, with a goal to serve 5,000 seniors in need. In fiscal year 2018, more than 1 million meals were provided by the Food Bank through CSFP to senior citizens in need.

About the Farm Bill:

In previous years, the Farm Bill has passed through Congress without much consequence. The bill has historically been a bipartisan ‘support and stabilization’ mechanism for the country’s agricultural sector. But it also covers multiple food and nutrition programs under the control of the US Department of Agriculture. In addition to the usual content like farm subsidies and support for specific product types, the House’s 2018 Farm Bill also includes indiscriminate changes to SNAP. The bipartisan Senate version does not. Now the two chambers have chosen committee members to work out the differences…with billions of meals at stake over the next decade.

Food Bank CENC joins Feeding America in opposing a Farm Bill that cuts or limits federal nutrition programs.

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