Media Contact:

Jordan Baker                                                                       jbaker@frac.org202-640-1118

Statement attributable to Kelly Horton, Interim President, Food Research & Action Center (FRAC)

WASHINGTON, May 1, 2024 — Today, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) released a long-awaited Farm Bill proposal aimed at strengthening benefit adequacy and equitable access for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Strengthening SNAP is critical to ensuring that the more than 42 million people who struggle against poverty-related hunger in this country can better afford to put food on the table and get the nutrition they need.

FRAC is pleased the proposal aligns with many of our SNAP priorities for the Farm Bill, and we commend Chairwoman Stabenow for recognizing the importance of safeguarding the much-needed Thrifty Food Plan future benefit adjustment.

In addition to continuing future Thrifty Food Plan adjustments, the proposal would:

  • repeal the lifetime federal ban on individuals with felony drug convictions from receiving SNAP,
  • amend the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to exclude the value of the military basic allowance for housing from income for purposes of eligibility for SNAP,
  • help address college hunger by removing restrictions to program participation for former foster youth, a first step in the right direction to remove barriers for all eligible college students so they can focus on their education,
  • study the impact of allowing hot foods to be purchased with SNAP benefits,
  • authorize a 10-year path for Puerto Rico to transition from the block grant Nutrition Assistance Program to SNAP,
  • permanently allow Tribes to procure their own food to distribute through the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations,
  • improve the security of Electronic Benefit Transfer cards to prevent fraud and to reimburse households who have had their SNAP benefits stolen through no fault of their own, and
  • increase funding for The Emergency Food Assistance Program, known as TEFAP, and the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program, known as GusNIP.

SNAP is our nation’s first line of defense to address our nation’s deepening hunger crisis. It supports families and local economies — each dollar in federally funded SNAP benefits generates between $1.50 and $1.80 in economic activity. Despite its many strengths, the average benefit is only $6 per person per day. The Senator’s proposal signifies a bold response to rising hunger rates as millions of households continue to struggle with food insecurity every day.

Despite the viable path forward proposed by Chairwoman Stabenow to improving food security across the U.S., House Agriculture Committee Chairman G.T. Thompson (R-PA) today released his Farm Bill framework that proposes eliminating future Thrifty Food Plan benefit adjustments. Congress should not go back on the commitment made in the 2018 Farm Bill by now proposing tens of billions of dollars’ worth of cuts while families struggle to provide a nutritionally adequate diet, juxtaposed with stagnant wages and increased rent. Efforts to cut the Thrifty Food Plan will reduce SNAP benefit amounts during a time of alarming rates of hunger. This cannot happen. Congress must reject any harmful proposals that put our nation’s health and well-being at risk.

FRAC agrees with Chairwoman Stabenow when she says cutting SNAP or nutrition programs in the Farm Bill “is a red line” for her. While her plan is an essential step in mitigating hunger, robust investments in SNAP are still needed to improve benefit adequacy and expand program eligibility.

Historically, the Farm Bill has been an ongoing bipartisan effort that has prioritized improving the lives of millions of households that are struggling to get the nutrition they need. FRAC is hopeful that Congress will return to these roots to advance a bold and equitable Farm Bill that protects and strengthens SNAP. Hungry people can’t wait.


The Food Research & Action Center improves the nutrition, health, and well-being of people struggling against poverty-related hunger in the United States through advocacy, partnerships, and by advancing bold and equitable policy solutions. To learn more, visit and follow us on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, and Instagram.