From: Meals On Wheels Association <erika@mowaa.

org>
Subject: Washington Update - How the Farm Bill Would Affect Our Seniors
Date: 1 February, 2014 11:00:23 AM EST
To: Will Thomas <will@mowaa.org>
Reply-To: <erika@mowaa.org>

Farm Bill Passes House, Moves on to Senate
Bill Provides Increased Opportunities to Reach Hungry
SeniorsAfter more than two years of debate, House and Senate
negotiators produced a bipartisan bill to reauthorize key national
agriculture and nutrition programs. This legislation, H.R. 2!2, the
Agriculture Act of 2"#! $ most commonly referred to as the %&arm
'ill( $ passed the House of Representati)es this week by a )ote of
2*#+#. The Senate is scheduled to consider this bill early ne,t
week.-f enacted, this &arm 'ill would set the agricultural and
nutrition policy for the ne,t fi)e years $ including policies impacting
America.s hungry seniors. /hile H.R. 2!2 makes significant cuts
to our nation.s largest nutrition safety net program, the Association
remains optimistic about other elements of the bill that could enable
Senior 0utrition 1rograms and partners to reach more seniors in
need.Deep Cuts to SNAPThis &arm 'ill would cut the
Supplemental 0utrition Assistance 1rogram 2S0A13 by 45. billion
o)er #" years. This is more than the Senate.s earlier proposal of
4!.# billion in cuts, but dramatically less than the House.s )ersion of
nearly 4!" billion. /hile the Association does not support these
harmful cuts, we do belie)e it represents the best compromise
achie)able compared with the earlier options offered. The impact
these cuts could ha)e on some of our nation.s most )ulnerable
remains to be seen6 howe)er, some estimates suggest that the
a)erage household will lose 47" a month in benefits. 8i)en that the
a)erage S0A1 benefit for a senior li)ing alone is already less than
4#22 a month, a cut of any size would be de)astating.Bipartisan
Provision to Reach Homebound9n the upside, a bipartisan
pro)ision spearheaded by Senator Al &ranken 2:+;03 and Senator
Roy 'lunt 2R+;93 in the Senate, and <ongressman =rik 1aulsen
2R+;03 in the House, would benefit low+income indi)iduals who are
homebound and currently unable to easily utilize S0A1. The
language included in the bill would allow the >.S. :epartment of
Agriculture 2>S:A3 to establish pilot programs to deli)er groceries
to homebound seniors and disabled indi)iduals participating in
S0A1./hile some Senior 0utrition 1rograms across the country
ha)e implemented similar programs, ha)ing this pro)ision in the
&arm 'ill allows this to be scaled+up nationally. /e belie)e this
pro)ision will allow our ;embers and partner organizations to reach
more hungry seniors, and we look forward to working together to
implement these pilots to ha)e greater impact. Other SDA
Pro!ramsThe two other programs that affect seniors most are the
<ommodity Supplemental &ood 1rogram and Senior &armers?
;arket 0utrition 1rogram. The <ommodity Supplemental &ood
1rogram 2<S&13, which currently deli)ers nutritious food bo,es to
low+income seniors, women and children, would ha)e the
authorization to e,pand ser)ices in si, additional states 2<T, H-, -:,
;:, ;A, R-3, bringing the total to !*. 8i)en that 7@A of program
participants are seniors, the &arm 'ill clarifies that the program be
only for seniors o)er the age of ", while allowing all others
households to remain on the program for as long as they meet
current eligibility reBuirements. 0o modifications ha)e been made to
the Senior &armers? ;arket 0utrition 1rogram 2S&;013, which
pro)ides benefits to be used specifically at farmers markets for
seniors. According to the latest data from >S:A, S&;01
distributed 422.2 million in )ouchers to o)er 55*,""" seniors in the
2"#2 fiscal year. This translated into more sales for o)er #7,"""
farmers markets, o)er C,""" roadside stands and #*! community+
supported agriculture 2<SA3 operations, as well as healthier food for
America.s seniors.This &arm 'ill also increases the authorization of
funding for The =mergency &ood Assistance 1rogram 2T=&A13 by
42"* million o)er the ne,t ten years. -t encourages the Secretary of
Agriculture to find ways to deli)er bonus commodities to emergency
feeding organizations, some of whom also pro)ide ;eals on
/heels and congregate meals more efficiently, and to e,plore how
to eliminate the regulatory and administrati)e barriers to accessing
these programs. -n the weeks ahead, we will continue to re)iew,
analyze and report back on how this comprehensi)e bill could
potentially affect your program and the seniors in your community.
Have "uestions or #ant More$&or freBuent ad)ocacy
updates and legislati)e news, be sure to follow <hief Ad)ocacy
9fficer =rika Delly on Twitter E0oSeniorHungry, andFor sign up to
become a 8rassroots Ad)ocate by contacting 1ublic 1olicy G
Research Associate /ill Thomas at willEmowaa.org. Should you
ha)e any Buestions, please do not hesitate to contact either =rika
2erikaEmowaa.org F *@#+CC7+#"!3, or /ill 2willEmowaa.org F *@#+
CC7+##C3.
;eals 9n /heels Association of America!#C 0 Hee Street, Ale,andria, IA 22C#!213
555.775.C2* J 2&3 @"C.*!5.*2@!
1ri)acy 1olicy J =mail 1references

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