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Press Release

For Immediate Release: April 12, 2018

The Draft House Farm Bill will Harm our Nationís Most Vulnerable

Washington, D.C., April 12, 2018 – The below is a statement from John Auerbach, president and CEO, of Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) on release of “Farm Bill” draft legislation (the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2)) to reauthorize key federal agricultural and nutrition programs.

“The Trust for America’s Health is seriously concerned about the draft Farm Bill legislation released today by the House Agriculture Committee, noting that many proposals could weaken or eliminate coverage and benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). 

While immediate savings may seem beneficial now, they will evaporate quickly when the nation gets the bill for poor health and nutrition. In addition, when children are hungry they do more poorly in schools and, when adults are under-nourished, they are less productive in their jobs.   As such, SNAP and other nutrition assistance programs can help curb healthcare costs in the future while providing immediate economic benefits to communities.

Increasingly, states, cities and other partners are piloting and scaling programs and policies that help SNAP recipients access healthier food options. Proposals that would roll back eligibility and otherwise shrink enrollment will create new health risks for a population of Americans that are already at greater risk of malnutrition. And, without nutrition supplemental programs like SNAP there may actually be increases in obesity because families will be forced to buy the least expensive food, which are often filled with excess calories and have low nutritional value. 

According to State of Obesity, obesity remains a significant public health crisis and a national security issue—being overweight or obese is the leading cause of medical disqualifications for military service, with nearly one-quarter of applicants being rejected for exceeding the weight or body fat standards.

Quite simply, while this legislation will directly harm our nation’s most valuable and vulnerable, everyone will shoulder the pain—from lack of education attainment to lack of economic development to lack of national security. 

TFAH looks forward to working with Congress and partners to help develop a Farm Bill that will benefit, not harm, Americans’ health.”

Trust for America’s Health is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority. www.healthyamericans.org.

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Contact

Media Contacts: Albert Lang (202) 864-5941 or alang@tfah.org