Today the House Agriculture Committee will meet to consider H.R.2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018—otherwise known as the Farm Bill. What members of Congress should consider is the impact this bill will have on America’s young children and their families.
The draft farm bill proposes dramatic structural changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that will increase food insecurity among low-income families. By proposing major changes in eligibility and mandating that states impose redundant and burdensome administrative requirements for SNAP participation, millions of working families will suffer from a loss or reduction of benefits. Simply put, these changes will mean more children in America will go hungry.
1,000 Days strongly opposes these policy changes that make it more difficult for children and their families to get the food they need to thrive. Access to nutritious food during pregnancy and in the earliest years of a child’s life has lifelong impacts on their health and development. For very young children, whose brains and bodies depend on good nutrition, food plays an especially important role in helping children grow, learn and reach their full potential. SNAP is proven to improve the health and economic security of children, their families and their communities. Instead of making it more difficult for families to thrive, Congress should be working to make it easier for all Americans to access and afford healthy foods.