Media Contact:

Jordan Baker                                                                       jbaker@frac.org202-640-1118

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

WASHINGTON, May 17, 2024 — The Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024: Discussion Draft (House Farm Bill) text released today by House Agriculture Committee Chair G.T. Thompson (R-PA) poses a serious threat to the health and wellbeing of the more than 41.4 million people who rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to put food on the table.

Thompson’s proposal slashes future Thrifty Food Plan benefit adjustments — which SNAP benefits are based on — by nearly $30 billion over a decade. This will drastically reduce support for the tens of millions of people in this country who are struggling against hunger during a time of increasing food insecurity.  In addition to SNAP, Summer EBT, Puerto Rico’s Nutrition Assistance Program, and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) — programs whose benefits are tied to the Thrifty Food Plan — would also experience cuts.

Cuts to future benefit adjustments would dissolve SNAP participants’ purchasing power, making it even more challenging for households to afford food and other basic needs. This will worsen health outcomes, contributing to increased emergency room visits and increased healthcare and Medicaid costs. Rather than boosting SNAP allotments, which would improve the purchasing power of SNAP, the bill could open the door to undermining the equity and autonomy in how participants can use SNAP benefits in ways that meet their cultural, dietary, and health needs.

Rhetoric that this is a “cost-neutral plan” ignores the harmful costs this Farm Bill will have for millions of Americans working to make ends meet. Furthermore, the bill’s push for privatized SNAP administration ignores previous attempts by states to privatize, which resulted in years of administrative chaos, benefit losses, and bureaucratic hurdles — ultimately, worsening basic needs systems. More must be done to invest in merit staffing to preserve program integrity during a time when state agencies nationwide are overwhelmed with staffing shortages.

The Farm Bill presents a unique opportunity for Congress to make progress against food insecurity and hunger at a time when an increasing number of Americans are wrestling with food insecurity as rents increase and wages continue to stagnate. Strengthening SNAP and the commodity assistance programs — The Emergency Food Assistance Program, Community Supplemental Food Program, Food Distribution on Indian Reservation Program, Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program, and the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program — should be a top priority for any Farm Bill.

While the bill would repeal the lifetime federal ban on individuals with felony drug convictions from receiving SNAP and increases funding for The Emergency Food Assistance Program and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, these improvements should never come at the expense of cutting SNAP benefits. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow’s (D-MI) Farm Bill proposal would strengthen these programs without harming SNAP.

In addition to its health, nutrition, and overall improved well-being attributes, SNAP also supports local economies — each dollar in federally funded SNAP benefits generates between $1.50 and $1.80 in economic activity. Every dollar invested in SNAP is a dollar invested into our nation and its people. Yet, despite its many strengths, the average benefit is only $6 per person per day.

Historically, Farm Bills have been bipartisan endeavors that prioritized improving the lives of millions of households who struggle to get the nutrition they need. We urge Congress to return to this core Farm Bill principle and only advance a bold and equitable Farm Bill that protects and strengthens SNAP, and the commodity assistance programs that support millions of households in every corner of our country.

You can’t lead a nation if you can’t feed a nation. 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.