Congress is currently considering legislation that will affect if and how millions of Americans keep food on the table – the Farm Bill. Considered once every five years, the Farm Bill has a far-ranging impact, from foreign assistance and food safety, to environmental conservation and anti-hunger programs.
In April the Senate Agriculture Committee released its version of the Farm Bill (S. 3240), which called for a devastating $4.5 billion in cuts to anti-hunger programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP; formerly known as food stamps) and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). With more than one of five children in America going to bed hungry, there is a great and unmistakable need for SNAP and anti-hunger programs in our country. With the full Senate set to begin deliberations on the Farm Bill set to begin this week, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is introducing an amendment to restore the $4.5 billion in proposed cuts. Senator Gillibrand’s amendment would help prevent millions of individuals and families from confronting hunger.
Our Jewish tradition further teaches us that we must fight hunger not only individually, but also by working together as a community. The Talmud explains that each Jewish community must establish a public fund to provide food for the hungry, and our sages explain that feeding the hungry is one of our most important responsibilities on earth: "When you are asked in the world to come, ‘What was your work?’ and you answer: ‘I fed the hungry,’ you will be told: ‘This is the gate of the Lord, enter into it, you who have fed the hungry’" (Midrash to Psalm 118:17).
Urge your Senator to co-sponsor Sen. Gillibrand’s amendment and ensure that strong funding for SNAP and other anti-hunger programs are included in the Farm Bill. Send an email by entering your zip code below, or you can reach the Capitol Switchboard at 202.224.3121.