House to Vote on Farm Bill Reauthorization Next Week, Significant SNAP Modifications Expected

The U.S. House of Representatives this week continued its discussion and markup of the Farm Bill Reauthorization (H.R. 2) with the measure set for a vote in the House next week.

Included in the measure are significant modifications for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and SNAP-Education (SNAP-Ed). The measure would propose to consolidate SNAP-Ed funding with the existing Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and shift funding from state and local agencies to state land grant universities. In California, a large portion ofthe SNAP-Ed funding goes to the California Department of Public Health and in turn, down to local health departments. This arrangement, has allowed SNAP-Ed programming and activities to occur in virtually all jurisdictions throughout the state in thousands of community-based sites.

Other provisions included in the Farm Bill would likely adversely impact beneficiaries through work requirements and eligibility modifications. The measure would require all able-bodied adults between 18 and 59 years old to work or be enrolled in a job training program for at least 20 hours per week to remain eligible for benefits. Beneficiaries that are elderly, disabled, or pregnant would be exempt from these requirements.

CHEAC this week joined CSAC and CWDA in a letter to House leaders expressing opposition to provisions related to SNAP included in the Farm Bill. The measure is likely to garner significant attention as it is considered in the House next week, and it remains to be seen what action Congress will ultimately take on the matter.