Act Now! Advocate for a Better 2018 Farm Bill for San Diego Families and Farmers  

Act Now! Advocate for a Better 2018 Farm Bill for San Diego Families and Farmers

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The Farm Bill is a massive bill passed by Congress roughly every five years. The Farm Bill affects every corner of the American food system, from what food farmers grow, to whether affordable, healthy food is available in your community, and how to address food security (see recap from SD Farm Bill Forum last year for more info).

Yesterday, the House Agriculture Committee passed a draft of the 2018 Farm Bill on a straight party-line vote (26-20). According to the analysis by Food Policy Action, this legislation:

  • Puts harsh new restrictions on SNAP for San Diegans
  • Defunds innovative local and regional San Diego food systems programs
  • Creates a race to the bottom for food labeling and production standards
  • Cuts conservation programs
  • Inserts new loopholes to commodity subsidy and crop insurance programs
  • Creates reckless new pesticide loopholes

All of these changes are bad for San Diegans!

The proposed changes in SNAP will hurt San Diego families. “The current average CalFresh benefit per person is $4.10 per day. This amount already isn’t enough. These changes will be devastating to our region’s most vulnerable populations, many of whom are working hard but falling short due to low wages and San Diego County’s high cost of living. CalFresh/SNAP helps people cover the basic need of putting food on the table so they can get back on their feet more quickly,” said San Diego Hunger Coalition Executive Director Anahid Brakke (more here).

The cuts proposed to conservation programs will also hurt San Diego farmers. “San Diego farmers get matching grants through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for improving habitat, erosion protection, irrigation, and mulching to reduce water usage,” stated Eric Larson, Executive Director of the San Diego County Farm Bureau, a Voting Member of San Diego Food System Alliance, in an article on Edible San Diego.

Take Action Now for San Diego Families and Farmers!

The House of Representatives may consider this bill for a final vote within the next few weeks, so this is a crucial time for our Representatives to hear from you.

1. Call your representatives TODAY to "Oppose the Proposed Farm Bill and Request for a Bi-Partisan Farm Bill that Protects San Diego Families and Small Farmers"!

Find your representative by zip code:
https://ziplook.house.gov/htbin/findrep_house

2. Sign-on to a national coalition being organized by the Farm to Fork Initiative in the next few days (www.betterfarmbill.org).

Save The Date:

San Diego Food System Alliance and partners will be organizing an event on Monday June 4th 2018 Healthy Food Access Forum: Value of CalFresh for the Local Food Economy. Save the date and join us to advocate for a healthier food system in San Diego!