On Tuesday, March 28, the House of Representatives’ Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition held a hearing to examine the current status of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the program’s place in the upcoming Farm Bill reauthorization. Under the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture, SNAP provides nutrition assistance to eligible, low-income individuals and families. United Fresh, through its leadership on federal nutrition policy, has long worked to ensure that SNAP recipients have adequate access to nutritious fresh fruits and vegetables.
The hearing witnesses, representing a spectrum of private sector entities devoted to promoting nutrition priorities, spoke to the effectiveness of the program and the need to preserve and protect it in upcoming legislation such as the Farm Bill. Committee member Jimmy Panetta, who represents the Salinas Valley region of California, which is world-famous for its leading role in fruit and vegetable production, highlighted the need for the program to implement innovative ways to ensure that recipients are incentivized to increase their consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables and their accompanying nutritional benefits.
The hearing was one of a series being held by the House Agriculture Committee to examine all parts of the current Farm Bill, which is set to expire in September 2018.