Photo by PHÚC LONG on Unsplash

Tuesday evening, the Senate agreed to send the Farm Bill to a conference with members of the House

What does this mean: 47 representatives (Republican conferees; Democrat conferees) and nine senators still to be named, will negotiate over the contents of the Farm Bill.

Why we care: The biggest component of the Farm Bill is funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The House version of the Farm Bill would gut SNAP, drastically reducing the ability of states, local governments and nonprofits to feed hungry people in America (read about the difference in the bills at Politico).

What we can do: 

  • Contact your Senator and Representative: Telling your representatives that you want the Farm Bill to have strong funding for SNAP will allow/make them stick up for SNAP funding. Even, if they are not on the conference committee that negotiates the Farm Bill.
  • Remember: After the conference, the new Farm Bill will go to a vote in the House and Senate.
  • And: As John Johnson of ELCA Advocacy, told the Deaconess Community in July, “Don’t ever think that calling your member of Congress or senator doesn’t make a difference. It does.”
  • Sign Up for ELCA’s Advocacy Blog alerts: Their most recent Farm Bill Post ends by summarizing what the ELCA is doing.
  • The ELCA network will be mobilized to take action on contacting Conferees for a Farm Bill that reflects the needs of all of our communities. Lutherans have a powerful faith voice to share as we continue to urge legislators to support both the needs of farmers and families who rely on nutrition assistance.”

For More: Watch John Johnson, program director for domestic policy, ELCA Advocacy; Nick Bates, director of Hunger Network in Ohio; and Sr. Dottie Almoney talk about the Farm Bill: why we have to care and what we can do (from July 3).