WASHINGTON, D.C. – Every five years congress has to pass something called the Farm Bill. It’s a massive piece of legislation that covers everything from agriculture to food programs. A handful of people from our state visited our nation’s capital advocating for congress to expand and improve nutrition programs in the Farm Bill.
Trevor Malone, an advocate and volunteer with the American Heart Association, works at a grocery store outside of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
“Everyday I see families have to put groceries back because they don’t qualify for SNAP or don’t’ get enough,” said Malone. “It’s an ongoing issue and that’s something I deal with everyday.”
Malone says as a kid, he and his family struggled with making sure they had enough food in their home.
“I kind of reverse back to my childhood where I would have to me and my siblings every third Wednesday as a holiday to make sure that we had food,” said Malone. “And no kid should have to celebrate that stuff.”
To make sure that children and people across the US do not face food insecurity, he’s visiting offices on Capitol Hill with the AHA talking with members about the Farm Bill. That legislation covers food and nutrition programs, like SNAP benefits which helps supplement the food budget for low-income families. The AHA said SNAP, alongside other food programs are especially important now that the snap public health emergency allotments have ended, tightening the food budget for more than 40 million SNAP participants. Most of whom are children, elderly or people with disabilities.
The AHA is pushing to keep SNAP benefits and other nutrition programs strong in the upcoming Farm Bill.
“What we’re advocating for, what I’m advocating for is so that kids don’t have to stress about their next meal like I had to,” said Malone.