Friday, July 12, 2013

Faith Community Opposing House Splitting up the Farm Bill

July 11, 2013

Dear Representative:

As people of faith working to reduce hunger and poverty and urging sustainable stewardship of our resources, we urge you to oppose proposals to dismantle the farm bill. Proposals to “split” the farm bill will put critical programs, particularly SNAP (formerly food stamps), at risk of deep cuts and harmful policy changes.

Passing a farm bill that contains only the farm policies and commodity provisions would almost certainly lead to a nutrition bill with SNAP cuts that far exceed even the $20 billion proposed in the earlier version of the farm bill. Thus, we view a vote in favor of a separate farm policy bill as a vote in favor of uncertainty and possibly catastrophic cuts to SNAP.

Our nation’s food and farm policies as embodied in the farm bill impact people and communities from rural America to developing countries.  Historically, there have been good reasons to connect good nutrition policy with good farm policy, and this partnership is essential to the long-term health of all of the programs involved.  Splitting the farm bill and making SNAP vulnerable to deep cuts will not only hamper the ability of low-income Americans to put meals on the table, but will also have negative consequences for food producers as well. According to USDA, 16 cents of every dollar spent on food goes back to farmers.

We urge the House to work on a comprehensive farm bill that protects and strengthens nutrition programs and encourages sustainable stewardship of our resources.


American Friends Service Committee
Bread for the World
Church World Service
Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach
Disciples Justice Action Network
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Jewish Council for Public Affairs 
MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger
National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
National Catholic Rural Life Conference
National Council of Jewish Women
Office of Social Justice, Christian Reformed Church in North America
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A)
Union for Reform Judaism
United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries
The United Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society