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Press Release: Food Bankers Advocate for the Hungry at Farm Bill Listening Session

August 4, 2017

The national Farm Bill listening tour makes a stop in Modesto on Saturday, August 5 and California Association of Food Banks, the statewide representative of California food banks, is providing testimony on the importance of nutrition programs in the bill. The primary focus of their testimony is supporting the preservation of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as CalFresh in California.

“We’re hoping to give Committee members a real picture of how successful CalFresh is in California,” said Rachel Tucker, senior policy associate with California Association of Food Banks. “This program is the best protection we have to prevent people from living life without nutritious food.”

Hunger and lack of nutrition pose a significant threat to California’s future. For the 4.9 million Californians struggling with food insecurity, hard choices must be made between buying food and meeting such basic needs as housing, medicine, transportation, or childcare. When the resources of friends and family are depleted, struggling families must turn to programs like CalFresh.

“While food banks provide an incredible service to their communities, they are unable to absorb the fallout that would occur if SNAP’s program structure changes or benefits were cut in the Farm Bill,” explained Tucker.

The Farm Bill originated in 1933 as part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal legislation as a way to support farmers, ensure people have access to well-priced food and protect natural resources. It now has a critical role in America’s food system; supporting everything from nutrition to local economies and health.

The bill has a five-year cycle. After the current bill expires, it goes through proposed revisions which then get debated and passed in Congress before being signed into law by the President.

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