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Senate Committee Holds Hearing on Farm Bill Nutrition Programs

On September 13, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry held a hearing, “Nutrition Programs: Perspectives for the 2018 Farm Bill.” The hearing focused on amending the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) as part of the upcoming reauthorization of the 2018 Farm Bill. The current legislation (P.L. 113-79) is set to expire on September 30.

Among many recommendations made by witnesses, proposals included modest increases in SNAP family benefits (per person, per day), a reconsideration of the three-month benefit limit, and the introduction of a Farm-to-Food Bank program.

The following witnesses testified:

  • Brandon Lipps, acting deputy under secretary, administrator, Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, Food and Nutrition Service, US Department of Agriculture;
  • Gil Harden, assistant inspector general for audit, Office of Inspector General, US Department of Agriculture;
  • Ann M. Coffey (Please Refer to Mr. Harden’s Testimony), assistant inspector general of investigations, Office of Inspector General, US Department of Agriculture;
  • Bryan Parker, Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma;
  • Jimmy Wright, president, Wright’s Markets, Inc.
  • Sam Schaeffer, chief executive officer and executive director, Center for Employment Opportunities;
  • Brian Riendeau, executive director, Dare to Care Food Bank; and
  • Diane Schanzenbach, director and Margaret Walker Alexander Professor, Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University.
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