South Plains Food Bank Prepares for New Farm Bill, Including SNAP Cuts

Published 01/27 2014 10:18PM

Updated 01/27 2014 10:53PM

By Monica Yantosh

LUBBOCK, TX -- Monday night, Congress came to a reported compromise on the
Farm Bill.

In the proposed bill, there will be cuts to the SNAP, or Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program.

The South Plains Food Bank says their clients have dealt with cuts to the SNAP program before, and they are ready to do it again with the new compromise to the Farm Bill.

"Good to get this behind us, for the clients and the people that we serve. I'm disappointed in some of the cuts,but I'm glad that those cuts aren't as severe as what we were hearing they were going to be earlier in the fall. I think it's cuts we can live with," David Weaver with the South Plains Food Bank said.

According to Weaver, because Texas is not part of the 'heat and eat' part of the SNAP program, the cuts won't be as bad for Texans as they will be for those in other states.

"These cuts will let us move forward, gives us stability going forward in the next five years so we know what to tell our clients and the families that we work with that are food insecure," Weaver said.

He also added that while there are cuts to the SNAP program, another program, the Temporary Emergency Assistance to Needy Families, will see some increases, something he's happy about.

"That will have a direct impact on the amount of food that food banks and soup kitchens, the school lunch programs have available to, for low income children," Weaver said.

"We're just pleased it looks like there's going to be a completion to this," Steve Verett said. Verett is the Executive Vice President of the Plains Cotton Growers, and said Monday's agreement isn't perfect, but it is progress.

The bottom line is we've been working, trying to get a farm bill, for close to 3 years now," Verett said. "And the one thing that all of agriculture needs, whether it's cotton, corn, sorghum, wheat, whatever it may be, is some certainty in the farm bill so that they can plan for the future."

"Overall, I think it's going to be a bill that we can live with, like I say if the economy continues to improve, we'll continue to see the number of people on the snap program reduce that's the way the system is supposed to work," Weaver said.

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on this on Wednesday.

Congressman Randy Neugebauer released a statement on this on Monday night, saying, in part, “The Farm Bill will reduce our deficit by $24 billion over ten years. We’ve closed loopholes in the nutrition programs to save $8 billion.  We’re also implementing a pilot program that will help get able-bodied adults off food stamps and back to work."

Click here to read Congressman Neugebauer's full statement.

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