The bill cuts SNAP benefits by $8.6 billion over 10 years, by increasing the threshold at which persons receiving the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) may receive SNAP benefits. There are about 850,000 SNAP households, who also participate in LIHEAP. For these households, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that the bill will reduce benefit levels by about $90 per month. The SNAP benefit reduction from the Farm Bill follows an approximately $11 billion cut in benefits that took place on November 1 of last year.
On the other hand, the bill increases the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and it includes funding for new pilot programs to help people secure employment through services, such as job training and new incentives to help veterans start agriculture businesses.
Assistance for food banks has also been increased to help with emergency food needs and rural development initiatives have been strengthened to upgrade infrastructure and create a better environment for small businesses.
Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, commented: “While we are disappointed that the final compromise continues to call disproportionately for sacrifices from hungry and poor people in this country and around the world, especially when large industrial agricultural operations continue to receive unnecessary subsidies, we are glad to see support will continue for domestic and international nutrition and development aid, rural development and conservation.”