Food Security in the 2008 Farm Bill
Ensures that U.S. consumers continue to have access to the thousands of safe, high-quality and affordable U.S.-grown farm products they rely on to feed and clothe their families and fuel their lives.
Provides a safety net for farmers so that when prices for farm goods take a tumble, farmers can recoup some of the money they spent on the fuel, fertilizer, water and other inputs to grow and raise those goods. Without that safety net, farmers could be forced to shrink the amount of food and fiber they are able to grow, which would cause the prices consumers pay to go up. In addition, more food would be imported, creating food safety worries as well as cost concerns.
Nutrition and Food Programs
Gives more Americans access to the Food Stamp Program, which has been renamed the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP helps low-income people and families buy the food they need for good health.
Increases SNAP benefits.
Boosts funding for the Emergency Food Assistance Program, which helps supplement the diets of low-income needy persons, including elderly people, by providing them with emergency food and nutrition assistance.
Boosts funding for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, through which participating schools offer and promote free fresh fruits and vegetables and dried fruit throughout the school day.
Boosts funding for the Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program. This program awards grants to states, U.S. territories, and federally-recognized Indian tribal governments to provide low-income seniors with coupons that can be exchanged for eligible foods at farmers' markets, roadside stands and community-supported agriculture programs.
Creates initiatives for enhancing community food security, promoting local foods and advocating healthy eating patterns, including curbing obesity.
Provides money to help farmers care for the environment. Because of the environmental programs funded through the program, farmers are able to plant hundreds of thousands of trees every year; provide habitat for wildlife; increase and protect wetlands and prevent soil erosion.
Helps farmers do their part to keep greenhouse gases in check for the rest of our nation. Agriculture remains the country's number one source of carbon sequestration, helping to offset the impact of the rest of the economy's contribution to greenhouse gas build-ups.
Helps supply home-grown renewable energy and decreases our dependence on foreign oil. The farm bill allows America's farmers to grow crops to make renewable fuels that are good for our environment and the nation's economy.
Provides much needed funds for research on the next generation of renewable fuels.
Helps fight hunger and provides assistance throughout the world. The United States is one of the most generous providers of in-kind food aid to fight hunger and starvation around the world thanks to help from the farm bill. U.S. food products identified by the marking "GIFT OF THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" are among the most visible manifestations of the good will of the U.S. to developing countries.
A Way of Life
Primarily helps individuals and families who have farmed together for generations and make up more than 98 percent of U.S. farms, producing about 86 percent of our country's food supply.
Keeps families farming and helps them contribute to rural communities. Farmers make vital contributions to their rural communities, last year paying more than $8 billion in property taxes alone to help support rural schools and infrastructure.