The Farm Bill is the nation’s agricultural, nutrition and food policy vehicle. It provides funding for SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - also known as food stamps. Vermont U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy on Monday was at a community action agency to discuss his efforts to fight proposed cuts to SNAP and talk about legislation to expand incentives for businesses to donate to food banks.
The five-year Farm Bill was defeated Thursday in the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 234-195. Two Congressmen from the Hudson Valley share a similar goal with the federal Farm Bill, yet voted differently.
Republican Congressman Chris Gibson and Democratic Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney sit on the House Agriculture Committee, and while both voted to advance the bill from there in May, they cast different votes Thursday. Gibson voted in favor of the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management, or FARRM, Act of 2013, and says he was disappointed with the outcome.
The Farm Bill, which contains the nation’s food stamp program, is slated to be voted upon this week in the House of Representatives. Two Congressmen from the Hudson Valley say their approach to the bill is for the greater good of agriculture in their region. However, their views do not sit well with many in their parties.
Activists held a series of demonstrations across the country today to call on influential Democratic members of Congress to prevent cuts to the food stamp program. One of the demonstrations was in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Holding signs and waving to passing motorists about two dozen people lined State Street in front of the federal building where Congressman Richard Neal has a district office. The protest had a sense of urgency because the House is set to vote, perhaps as soon as tomorrow, on a bill that could end food stamp benefits to millions of people.
Some two dozen low-income Hudson Valley residents showed up outside the office of their Congressman Thursday to express disappointment and anger over his recent vote concerning a national food stamp program.
The man in charge of administering much of the social services system in Massachusetts is trying to live for a week on a food budget equal to what is provided by a federal assistance program. It is part of a national campaign by anti-hunger groups to highlight the importance of the program at a time when it is threatened with deep cuts.