News Update June 25th 2018

June 25, 2018

Peoples Guide Pre-Order: The 2018 Peoples Guide is on its way! Place your pre-order now at orders@hugeractionla.org. The Guide is $1.25 per copy and one copy free for low-income persons. Inquire at info@hugeractionla.org for pricing on large bulk orders.

What is the Peoples Guide? For more info Check out the Peoples Guide +PDF at hungeractionla.org/peoplesguide

  1. 1. House Passes Horrible Farm Bill: Senate Working On A Much Better Version
  2. 2. Tell Congress to Reauthorize the Global Food Security Act
  3. 3. Mark Your Calendar: Double Your Donation for Senior Market Match in LA County — July 1st through 12th

1. House Passes Horrible Farm Bill: Senate Working On A Much Better Version


The House of Representatives passed its version of the Farm Bill last Thursday. It’s pretty bad when it comes to SNAP (Food Stamps):

  • New work requirements are added—fully knowing that the job availability isn’t there—and thus participants unable to find 20 hours of work per week will be dropped out of the program at a rate that will cut up to $20 billion out of the SNAP over the next few years.

    However, it’s important to remember:

  • It only passed by 2 votes. All Democrats (two failed to cast any vote) and several Republicans voted against it. There has never before been a version of the Farm Bill passed by members of only ONE party. This represents a simple fact: this version of the Farm Bill does not have broad support, by any means.

  • It took 2 tries to pass this bill. The first time was in May when it failed, with at least 30 Republicans voting against the bill their own party had crafted.

More importantly, the Senate is expected to take up the Farm Bill this week. Their version of the Farm Bill does not have any cuts to SNAP.



What Happens Next?

The Senate bill, unlike the House version, is expected to have broad, bipartisan support.

The Farm Bill will go to a conference committee, to compare the House and Senate versions and create a final version to vote on and then send to the President.

Usually, the conference committee will negotiate between the two versions of a bill, compromising and keeping elements of one or the other, or meeting at some point in between. However, there’s no rule saying that has to be the process. The Conference Committee can elect to completely reject one or the other of the bills. And given the choice between a Senate bill with broad support and a House bill that passed by only two votes, after two attempts, the Senate version definitely has the look of a more widely supported proposal.

 

What to do now? 

Call our Senators, Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein. You can use the Capitol switchboard: +1 (202) 224-3121

  • Thank them for their support of the SNAP program

  • Urge them to support the Senate Farm Bill and to take NO bad amendments on SNAP

  • Let them know you care about hungry Americans. Let’s take care of our Brothers and Sisters.

 

More background:

House Passes Farm Bill That Would Make Hunger, Poverty Worse — FRAC, June 21, 2018
The passage of the House Farm Bill, H.R. 2, betrays the historic bipartisan commitment to making sure people who are struggling have enough to eat. The bill will take food out of the refrigerators and off the tables of millions of people in need, leading to greater hunger and poverty. Protecting and strengthening the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — not cutting it, as H.R. 2 does — is one of the most efficient and effective solutions to ending hunger and poverty in America.

House GOP proposes major cuts to food stamps with passage of 2018 farm bill — San Francisco Chronicle, June 21, 2018
The House version of the Farm Bill passed on June 21, by a vote of 213-211. “It’s shocking that the House would pass this kind of harsh farm bill that betrays the long-standing bipartisan commitment to making sure that people who are struggling have enough to eat,” said Stephen Knight, director of policy and partnerships at the Alameda County Community Food Bank. “With wages falling and inequality growing in our country, protecting and strengthening SNAP is essential.” The Senate version of the bill has minor changes proposed to SNAP and has bipartisan support.


2. Tell Congress to Reauthorize the Global Food Security Act

Strange as it may seem, there is a hunger bill that has passed the Senate with unanimous bipartisan support. It’s the Global Food Security Act, which has helped more than 7 million small farmers in developing countries increase the amount of food they grow. Originally passed in 2010 as “Feed the Future”, the Global Food Security Act, passed under President Obama, prioritizes sustainable ag development and child nutrition from womb to age 2. The reauthorization of this Global Food Security Act passed on June 19, unanimously in the US Senate. Now, the House will vote on the Senate’s version.

Locally, Democratic Representative Karen Bass and Republican Representative Ed Royce are among the co-sponsors of the House version, also known as HR 5129.

Bread for the World is calling on folks to phone and email their representatives to pass the Global Food Security Act. Call (800-826-3688) or email your representative and urge them to pass the Senate’s version of the Global Food Security Act (S.2269 ). 

Bread for the World Supports Global Food Security Act

Oxfam are also supporters of the bill. This article explains how the act directs US foreign aid to help finance agricultural equipment and allow local farmers to compete with cheap imports, helping to increase local food production and boost the economy:

Small Farms Are The Secret To Global Food Security


3. Mark Your Calendar: Double Your Donation for Senior Market Match in LA County — July 1st through 12th

Please save the date: Starting July 1, we can accept prescheduled donations for our fundraising project in the GIVE65 Event, a program of Home Instead Senior Care Foundation. We’re raising funds for our Senior Market Match program which is helping low-income seniors access farm fresh fruits and vegetables in Downtown LA, East Hollywood, East LA, Gardena, Harbor City, Huntington Park, Long Beach, Mar Vista, Mid City, Newhall, Pasadena, Pomona, Rosemead, Santa Monica, Sunland, and West Covina. 

The annual event actually runs from July 10th to 12th and allows nonprofit organizations like ours the opportunity to raise funds online to help seniors in our local community. You can “pre-schedule” a gift beginning Sunday, July 1. (This means you can give beginning that day and they’ll count it toward the event.)

We need your help to meet (and, hopefully exceed!) our $2,500 goal. We can receive matching dollars if we reach our goal. And, an additional $10K will be awarded to the nonprofit with the greatest number of donors! 

The funds we raise on GIVE65 will provide fresh veggies and fruit for seniors in need while supporting local sustainable farmers.

Be on the lookout for another email early next week with the website link for donations!



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