The American Public Health Association (APHA) says the House Agriculture Committee’s draft Farm Bill proposal will leave many lower-income Americans hungry.

“As it stands, millions in our country already don’t have access to enough food, or to the healthy food that can help a community thrive,” said Georges Benjamin, MD, APHA executive director. This is not the time for Congress to weaken SNAP benefits and take food away from families that need it.”

The proposal would institute new work requirements for some SNAP recipients and also cut billions from the program.

“Reducing SNAP benefits accomplishes nothing, and helps no one,” said Benjamin. “In its current form, the bill would eliminate and weaken Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits for many low-income Americans, increase hunger, foster poorer nutrition and further increase health inequity in our nation.”

APHA is urging the committee to reject this proposal and replace it with one that reduces hunger and food insecurity while improving nutrition and health.

“Any changes to the SNAP program should increase access to affordable, nutritious food, especially for the most vulnerable in our nation. Instead of leaving Americans hungry, Congress should work to ensure no one falls through the gaps.

“Congress must pass a Farm Bill that strengthens SNAP, encourages healthy eating by maintaining programs like the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, strengthens nutrition education programs and improves the economy by supporting local farmers and local retailers who expand access to healthy food in our communities.”