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RELEASE: SNAP cuts proposed in House Farm Bill would hurt thousands of Nebraska families

***For Immediate Release***
May 24, 2024

Contact: Sierra Salgado Pirigyi
Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed
Office: (402) 438-8853 x116
sierrasp@neappleseed.org

SNAP cuts proposed in House Farm Bill would hurt thousands of Nebraska families

LINCOLN — The House Agriculture Committee met yesterday to markup its 2024 Farm Bill proposal for nearly 12 hours. After the markup, which includes debate and amendments to a draft version of the proposal, the final version includes a $30 billion cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, and adds barriers to accessing the nation’s most-essential food assistance program, which helps 1 in 11 Nebraskans afford the food they need.

The Senate recently shared its own Farm Bill proposal, the Rural Prosperity and Food Security Act, which protects and strengthens SNAP access, including through safeguarding much-needed future Thrifty Food Plan benefit adjustments and supporting a myriad of additional SNAP changes.

While the House proposal includes some positive provisions, the Senate proposal makes many of those same positive provisions without any that take food away from vulnerable individuals and families.

Nebraska Appleseed’s Program Manager for Food and Nutrition Access, Eric Savaiano, issued the following statement in response:

“SNAP is a critical support for tens of thousands of Nebraksans including seniors, people with disabilities, workers, children, and people in crisis. The House Farm Bill proposal is out of line with the needs of Nebraskans and Americans. Cutting $30 billion from SNAP by limiting USDA’s ability to make future adjustments to the Thrifty Food Plan will erode benefit levels and increase hunger and hardship among our most vulnerable.

On the other hand, we strongly support the Senate Farm Bill proposal that protects and strengthens Nebraskans’ access. Nebraskans need a Farm Bill that protects SNAP and supports people who use the program to help buy groceries and feed their families – not one that would cut benefits and add barriers.”

Tina Rockenbach is the Executive Director of Community Action of Nebraska (CAN). CAN comprises 9 Community Action Agencies that serve all 93 counties and has proven for 60 years to be the hand up that families often need when hard times happen. CAN agency members are dedicated to helping people help themselves and each other. Tina contributed this statement:

“In Nebraska since the start of the pandemic, the demand for emergency food has only continued to increase. The post-pandemic inflationary economy has triggered a national food security emergency among working families whose wages are not commensurate with costs of basic needs. Our organization expects to work with Nebraska’s National Representatives to maintain this important program while keeping the integrity of the intent of the bill. A $30 billion reduction to SNAP would negatively impact Nebraskans who are actively striving toward economic stability.” 

Sierra Edmisten of Hastings and recent Nebraska SNAP recipient shared this statement: 

“To me SNAP means being able to make sure my children are fed. It means making sure no hungry mother or child has to go without food like I did. We need to advance SNAP any chance we get so we can continue to be a nation others can look to on preventing and treating childhood hunger.”

Currently, around 156,000 Nebraskans in 77,000 households rely on SNAP to put food on the table. Since January 2021, inflation has increased prices in Nebraska by 19.4% (US Congress Joint Economic Committee) making food and other necessities more difficult to buy.

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