In Defense of SNAP

SNAP is already the nation’s “most effective” economic stimulus program. The political battle over the 2018 Farm Bill is already well underway and—if rhetoric from the Trump Administration is any indication—it won’t be an easy fight.  Threatening to gut $192 billion from SNAP over the next decade, the White House is proposing an unrecognizable overhaul of a program that services…

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D-SNAP Modernization: Simple Reforms to Help the Most Vulnerable

Months after Hurricane Irma, thousands of people are lining up in Miami to sign up for Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, or D-SNAP. More than 30,000 people registered for D-SNAP in Florida after just a few days of program registration opening, making modernization efforts more timely than ever. D-SNAP provides food assistance to low-income households with food loss or…

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Employment and Training Vital for SNAP Participants

Oklahoman Bryan Parker is one of the 42 million Americans served by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or “SNAP.” He is also a perfect example of why Congress should renew and expand their investment in Employment and Training (“E&T”) programs as part of the coming farm bill reauthorization. Parker is a 51-year-old veteran and has always been a hard worker….

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Local FARMS Act: An Opportunity for School Food

This is the fourth post in FBLE’s series on the Local FARMS Act. The Local FARMS Act, a 2018 Farm Bill marker bill introduced by Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), and Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), includes a variety of programs that would support the growth of local food economies. One proposed provision intends to bolster the amount of local…

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The Urban Agriculture Production Act

On September 7, 2017, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09) introduced legislation entitled the Urban Agriculture Production Act of 2017 (H.R. 3699). The bill would “promote and enhance” urban agricultural practices and provide assistance for organizations and individuals looking to create or expand urban agriculture projects in their communities. Why Does the Bill Matter? Urban agriculture is a response to the growing…

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Local FARMS Act: Harvesting Health Program

This is the third post in FBLE’s series on the Local FARMS Act. One of the newest trends in agricultural policy is testing the effects of produce prescriptions. Forget the intimidating pharmacy counters, lines, and lab coats, doctors in select pilots are writing scripts for patients to pick up fresh fruits and vegetables at their local farmers’ markets. The idea…

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Local FARMS Act: An Overview

This is the first post in FBLE’s series on the Local FARMS Act.   The mutualistic relationship between “urban” and “rural” is a prevalent theme throughout the United States history. The wealth of the nation’s rural resources has driven the growth of the its urban centers. However, for the first time in its history, the nation’s rural areas have seen…

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Marker Bill Watch: Water Quality Conservation Act

Last month, Congressman David Young of Iowa introduced the Water Quality Conservation Act of 2017 (WQCA). The WQCA is a “marker bill” that seeks to address the issues of nutrient loss, soil erosion and runoff. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, nutrient loss poses a major threat to agriculture and erosion presents the most significant threat of…

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Land Grants and Higher Education

When it comes to building a more food-secure future, we could probably all use some more education. Luckily, House of Representative member David Scott (D-GA) proposed a marker bill earlier this year to fund student scholarships at historically black land grant colleges and universities (H.R. 51). Land-grant colleges and universities were created in the second half of the nineteenth century when Congress gave federal lands to states to fund the establishment of agricultural schools.

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