Farm Bill 2007

Fri, 12/01/2006

The Farm Bill is up for re-authorization in 2007. The Farm Bill is important because our nation’s agriculture programs originate with the Farm Bill. For the past 30 years, America’s food system has left an unfortunate legacy of fewer farmers, lost farmland, unhealthy and hungry children and polluted water and air. Failed national food and farm policies have fostered this legacy by encouraging our food and farming systems to move in the wrong direction while neglecting the future health and productivity of children, rural communities, urban neighborhoods, and the environment. The Farm Bill can help correct many of these problems and restore healthy and adequate food and farm programs. Ten recommendations to be considered include: ☛ Strengthen food assistance programs by broadening Food Stamp eligibility to include all legal immigrants, streamline and simplify the Food Stamp application process, and encourage greater consumption of fruits and vegetables by food stamp recipients, ☛ Increase funding for the Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) including both the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and senior versions, ☛ Expand the size and scope of the USDA Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program (CFP), ☛ Strengthen community food security approaches to nutrition education, ☛ Encourage nutrient-dense food distribution in emergency and food assistance programs to align commodity programs with regional food system development, ☛ Expand Farm to Cafeteria by appropriating funds for the “Access to Local Foods and School Gardens” program authorized in the 2004 Child Nutrition Act, ☛ Expand the Fruit and Vegetable Pilot Program to all 50 states, ☛ Institute a pilot project to scale up food policy councils for local and regional food system development, ☛ Provide additional support for marketing, planning, and financing to promote retail food outlets in urban and rural “food deserts,” ☛ Renew and initiate federal support for the various forms of community-based urban agriculture.