HARRISBURG, Pa. — Working in animal agriculture, it’s not uncommon for a young pig to fall behind. As a businessman, and a compassionate one at that, it’s the job of farmers to do everything in our care to support the growth and development of all the pigs in the litter. They rely on us to ensure their health and well-being. We look for creative solutions on each individualized case to build and maintain a healthy herd. The American food supply relies on us, American farmers.
When individuals are on SNAP, they spend the dollars here in our grocery stores. So who really benefits when our neighbors lose access to their food programs? It certainly isn’t the American farmer.
As Congress continues discussions on the 2023 reauthorization of the Farm Bill, let’s move past the conversations about eligibility for SNAP and other food programs, and dig further into how our industry can support those who need a leg up. By ensuring that programs like The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) directly benefit and support those facing food insecurity by purchasing American-grown foods, both the farmer and those facing food insecurity benefit. Additionally, TEFAP Infrastructure Grants have helped numerous food banks invest in the facilities to better store and therefore serve food purchases, increasing the efficiency of the food supply and taxpayer dollars. By reducing barriers in the TEFAP Farm to Food Bank Program and increasing states’ ability to prioritize projects, dollars can be better invested in supporting local farmers.
America has an incredible food system, ripe with opportunity to help tackle food insecurity in our rural and urban communities. As an industry, we can lift up those seniors, children, disabled, and veterans that make up the large majority of SNAP recipients.
No one wins when someone loses their benefits. Instead, let’s find ways that taxpayer dollars can be better leveraged in the food insecurity space to strengthen the efficiency of our nation’s food supply.
–Chris Hoffman, President PA Farm Bureau