Family farmers joined the CEO of the Great Plains Food Bank on a farm near Amenia, ND today to give their opposition to proposed budget cuts to the SNAP budget. President Trump’s budget contained $193 billion in cuts to SNAP over the next ten years. Congress is now considering the budget. The event was held to spread awareness and call for bipartisan negotiations on food security.
The current Farm Bill expires in September of 2018. Under President Trump’s proposal, 25% of SNAP’s funding would be shifted onto state budgets in the next Farm Bill. As I’ve stated before when it comes to transferring Medicaid funding onto state budgets, North Dakota is in no fiscal position to undertake this additional funding. Without the available budget, the legislature might not be inclined to fully fund what is necessary leading to cuts in security.
According to Brandon Delvo of Farmers Union, approximately 27,000 North Dakotans live with hunger daily. Steve Sellent, CEO of Great Plains Food Bank, said: “Many North Dakota children, seniors, and adults are still missing meals and proposed cuts to the SNAP program would have a devastating effect on tens of thousands.” Food security is essential for these families to prosper and become more independent.
The event was held at Bill Hejl’s farm and organized by Ryan Taylor, former State Senator and USDA Rural Development State Director. Taylor has been to Washington D.C. to speak with North Dakota’s Congressional Delegation about the budget changes. We’ve seen a growing divide between rural and urban America. A recent poll in the Washington Post showed residents of each view the other as not holding the same values. Taylor said he believes the Farm Bill is a chance for not only rural and urban residents to come together, but also Republicans and Democrats.