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What is the Farm Bill?

What is the Farm Bill?

The Farm Bill is the largest piece of legislation in our country that funds food and agricultural systems. Developed by the United States Senate and House of Agriculture Committees, this bill affects the entire food system, including local Florida farmers, our Fresh Access Bucks program, and our food banks. Before both chambers of Congress vote on the 2023 Farm Bill, let’s take a closer look at what it includes and how that impacts the Feeding Florida network. 

The Farm Bill is a single document that is accepted in a single vote by a legislature, but packages together several measures into one bill that governs nutrition, crop insurance, conservation, rural investment, land access and more. Farm Bill funding supports SNAP, The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) and food rescue programs. Our Network’s Fresh Access Bucks program is a statewide nutrition incentive program that increases the purchasing power of SNAP recipients to buy fresh fruits and vegetables farmers markets, produce stands, CSAs, mobile markets, and community grocery outlets. Thus, the outcome of the 2023 Farm Bill is crucial to our food banks who administer TEFAP and CSFP, and FAB who work to help SNAP recipients. 

Renewed every 5-7 years, this upcoming Farm Bill could impact Florida until 2028. Comprised of Titles, each section of this bill outlines the allotted funds for a wide range of agriculture-related systems. For example, the last Farm Bill had 12 Titles outlining funding for conservation, rural development, horticulture, commodities, crop insurance and nutrition. All of these systems directly affect the Feeding Florida Network and our local farmers. 

The clients we help every day are the greatest benefactors from this federal funding. When times are tough, social security doesn’t pay the bills or medical issues require you to access more healthy food options – these programs make solutions possible. With support at the federal level, Feeding Florida’s food banks can continue to provide programs like TEFAP, allowing us to distribute food to the over 2.2 million hungry individuals across the state. This bill also determines how food is grown, what types are grown, and who has access to it, directly affecting farmers and their ability to govern their own crops. 

With a $428 billion six-year budget, there is a lot at stake for our Florida farmers and our entire network. Feeding Florida supports the reauthorization of the 2023 Farm Bill and encourages our lawmakers to protect and strengthen funding and access to SNAP, TEFAP and other nutrition programs that support Florida families.

Most Recent News:

Press Release: Feeding Florida Network Prepares Hunger Relief Efforts as Hurricane Ian Makes Landfall

Feeding Florida's food banks are poised and ready to provide statewide relief to Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian- planning emergency relief, staging MREs and water in partnership with the State of Florida, and preparing to mobilize to affected communities.

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Press Release: Feeding Florida to Increase Food Access in Underserved and Vulnerable Communities Across the Sunshine State with Simply Healthcare Plans $300,000 Investment

Feeding the Gulf Coast, a member of the Feeding Florida network, in partnership with Simply Healthcare Plans (Simply), hosted a mobile food distribution to provide nutritious and shelf-stable food items for 200 Pensacola families living in high-poverty zip codes. This is one in a series of events across the state to combat hunger relief leveraging Simply’s $300,000 investment over two years.

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How to Take Action Against Hunger

This Hunger Action Month we want to encourage you to get proactive in the fight against hunger in Florida. With 2.2 million individuals experiencing hunger across the state, there is no shortage of need for support and hunger relief. The Feeding Florida network of food banks offers you plenty of opportunities to help in your local community. With support from volunteers and generous donors, our network is able to further our reach into Florida’s 67 counties and provide relief to those who need us the most.

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