Extending SNAP support should be a no-brainer in this economy

By Dr. Lyndon Haviland

January 13, 2023

The Agriculture Improvement Act, known as the farm bill, is up for renewal this year and lawmakers will soon debate whether to extend key provisions that currently help 34 million people suffering from food insecurity in America.  

But in today’s divisive political environment, where 15 voting rounds are needed to elect a Speaker of the U.S. House, the likelihood that our leaders will reach a consensus on this important legislation, sadly, seems entirely unthinkable. …

The bill’s current term, which expires later this year (unless Congress acts), has a total budget of $867 billion, where nearly 80 percent of it funds food stamp programs (now called the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, or SNAP).  

SNAP is the most important tool we have in combatting America’s hunger crisis. But over the years, its inclusion in the farm bill has been at the center of an ugly tug-of-war between two fiercely divided parties on Capitol Hill. …

As Congress demonstrates where they stand when they debate and vote on this year’s bill, the health and wellbeing of millions of Americans hang in the balance.