Just about every five years, the U.S. congress passes a new Farm Bill. This legislation affects our health through the food we eat, programs used to feed hungry families, what crops are grown under what conditions, and how land is protected. This massive bill packages a variety of different topics into one proposal – it has 14 different titles! A few example programs are:
- The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, previously food stamps), part of the Nutrition Programs in Title IV, affects some of our most vulnerable community members: families with incomes and children. This program makes sure hungry people have food to eat.
- Conservation programs in Title II, support healthy water, soil, and air. The Conservation Reserve Program encourages landowners to protect vulnerable areas of their farmland - such as wetlands - to prevent soil erosion and maintain land health.
- Community food projects, also part of the Nutrition title, help people access more food through development of community-based food projects in low-income communities.
The most recent bill, the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 expired on September 30, 2012.
How You Can Help
Learn about related legislation such as the Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act.