The 2023 Farm Bill: Not Just for Farmers

Did you know that Congress is working now to pass a Farm Bill by the end of the year? It’s true! But guess what – farmers aren’t the only people who this bill impacts. It also touches a ton of other people like you and me who just need to eat. At a price tag of around $100 billion, the Farm Bill is a massive package that touches the whole of the American food system.

The Farm Bill Feeds America

The Farm Bill does have parts that relate directly to farmers like growing crops, farm insurance, and farm credit, but a big section deals directly with how we feed people who need help paying for groceries. The program we use to do that is called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). 


As you probably know, although the US grows food for the world, there are still 1 in 8 Americans who don’t get enough to eat. SNAP is designed to help people put food on the table for themselves and their families when money is tight. SNAP is our nation’s best defense against hunger and is utilized by over 40 million Americans (including 170,000 Nebraskans) each month.

SNAP makes up about 80% of the spending in the Farm Bill, yet there is still a lot of need to keep food on the tables for Nebraskans. Program eligibility limits participants to those that earn under 100% of the Federal Poverty Level after deductions (or $23,030 a year for a family of 3). That is only $1,919 per month. 

However, there are members in Congress who will try to reduce overall SNAP spending by using the Farm Bill to create policies that cut people off of benefits, and making it harder for our neighbors to eat. While this fight is not unexpected, it is important to make sure we push back against those who want to weaken SNAP. In fact, there are several ways we’d like to see the program improve that we’ve been sharing with our Nebraska members of Congress!

SNAP in Nebraska

Bringing it back to Nebraska, our state legislature recently passed legislation to make it easier for Nebraskans to adjust SNAP benefits when they earn more at work by updating eligibility limits for the program. It’s only common sense to not cut people off of benefits when they earn more – a raise shouldn’t be a punishment, but instead a celebration for families working to get ahead! We’re proud of our state senators for making that bipartisan choice and hope to see similar bipartisanship in Congress that protects and strengthens SNAP in the Farm Bill. 

The Farm Bill’s Road Ahead

The current 2018 Farm Bill expires at the end of September 2023. We expect the House of Representatives to put out a proposal soon that could put SNAP at stake and aim to cut SNAP spending by taking away benefits from families. Stay in the loop through Nebraska Appleseed social media and action alerts and be ready to stand up and tell Congress that Farm Bill feeds Nebraska!

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