Kansas SNAP Program Faces Potential Changes in 2023 Farm Bill, Experts Warn
This federal legislation, which is currently under consideration, carries the potential to reshape how the Kansas SNAP program operates and provides food assistance to eligible individuals and families in the state. (Photo: KALB)
Kansas State University Experts Raise Concerns Over 2023 Farm Bill’s Impact on Kansas SNAP Program and American Food Accessibility
According to the KSNT article, experts from Kansas State University have expressed concerns about the potential ramifications of the 2023 Farm Bill on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps or the Kansas SNAP program. According to a statement by the K-State Research and Extension Office, the upcoming farm bill is expected to impact the accessibility of food for Americans, particularly those reliant on SNAP benefits.
Agricultural policy specialist Jenny Ifft, representing Kansas State University, explained that the origins of food stamps date back to the Great Depression, where the goal was to simultaneously boost farm income and alleviate hunger in both urban and rural areas. These days, the program is referred to as SNAP.
The farm bill is a legislative piece renewed every five years by Congress, setting comprehensive national policies for agriculture, nutrition, conservation, and forestry. Its last approval was in 2018 during the administration of President Donald Trump. Currently, the 2023 Farm Bill is awaiting approval in Congress, as the previous version from 2018 is set to expire soon.
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High Stakes: 2023 Farm Bill’s Budget Allocation Sparks Concerns for Kansas SNAP Program and Nutrition Education Programs
A significant portion of the 2023 Farm Bill’s budget, over 80%, is allocated to nutrition programs like the Kansas SNAP program (SNAP), according to The Hill. This raises concerns in Kansas, where 10% of households already experience food insecurity. Programs such as K-State’s SNAP-Ed, falling under the umbrella of the SNAP, aim to provide nutrition education and maximize the benefits of food assistance programs.
The potential impact on SNAP is crucial, as it serves over 50 million participants across the nation, including the elderly, children, and disabled individuals, with the budget continually increasing in recent years, creating ongoing debates regarding funding allocation.