A strong bio-based economy will improve the bottom line for farmers while creating good manufacturing jobs in rural America. At the same time, these investments reduce our use of foreign oil, reduce the trade deficit by replacing imported crude oil with home-grown, fuel, and contribute to a healthier planet by reducing emissions.
A Comprehensive Farm Bill Will Support Vulnerable Families By Protecting Our Vital Food And Nutritional Assistance Programs
For the past 40 years, the Farm Bill also has authorized the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), one of our nation's strongest defenses against hunger and poverty. SNAP helps families and seniors put food on the table, while also benefitting farm and rural economies.
In 2012, SNAP kept nearly 5 million people, including 2.2 million children, above the poverty line.
- SNAP benefits led to an average annual decline of 4.4 percent in the prevalence of poverty from 2000 to 2009, and led to even greater reductions in the depth and severity of poverty.
- Program benefits are targeted to those most in need: the vast majority of SNAP participants are children, the elderly, or people with disabilities.
- Over 91 percent of SNAP benefits go to households with income below the poverty line, and 55 percent go to households with income of less than half of the poverty line (about $9,500 for a family of three).
- Most SNAP recipients who can work do so. Among SNAP households with at least one working-age, non-disabled adult, more than half work – and more than 80% work in the year before or after receiving SNAP.
Administrative costs for the program are very low: about 95 percent of federal spending on SNAP goes directly to helping eligible households purchase food.
In addition to helping American families during tough economic times, SNAP provides a fiscal boost to the economy during economic downturns.
- The independent Congressional Budget Office estimates that every SNAP dollar generates up to $1.80 in economic activity.
- Every $5 in SNAP benefits generates as much as $9 of economic activity for the over 230,000 retail food outlets – supermarkets, grocers and farmers' markets – that participate in the program
In addition, reforming our largest international food aid program would provide a much greater impact without additional budgetary resources, helping up to 4 million more people each year in emergency food crises abroad.
A Comprehensive Farm Bill Will Provide A Safety Net For Producers To Manage Risk