Friday, March 07, 2008

Compromise Farm Bill Could Have Significant Effects on Hunger

Debate surrounding the reauthorization of the 2007 farm bill has drawn attention from hunger advocates to city planners, who acknowledge that much more than the livelihood of farmers and agricultural companies is bound up in this vote. For 25 million struggling families, the farm-bill reforms could launch the first increase in benefits since 1996, thus raising the average benefit above the current average of $1 per person per meal. The 2007 bill, which expires on March 15, has been subject to a central disagreement between congressional parties who have argued for increased funding, and the President, who has clearly stated that he will veto the bill if it requires a raise in taxes. All potential benefits for food stamp recipients rely on the ability of Congress and the President to reach a reasonable compromise.


Michael Paone said...

How about using the money for unethical subsidies to fund an increase in food stamps? Interesting that you mention city planners as being concerned, as, with any legislation that directly effects the economics of poverty, I agree that is has to be thought of as part of the larger picture of community development and how we rebuild local economies.

NYCCAH said...

I think you're right that an increase in food stamps at the expense of subsidies is something the government should be pursuing, and that the mere suggestion of capping subsidies at $250,000 per farmer (as was the recent discussion in Kentucky) illustrates just what kind of discrepancy we're talking about. But I also think that we have a long way to go in convincing legislators that increasing funds for food stamps is an act of good business and not just goodwill.