On June 7, 2023, the House Agriculture Committee held a hearing entitled “Innovation, Employment, Integrity, and Health: Opportunities for Modernization in Title IV” to discuss how to proceed with the Farm Bill, which is set to expire later this year. Though children were not the main focus of this hearing, they make up a significant portion (42%) of SNAP participants, and committee members agreed that they do not want children to lose access to food. Specifically, Representative Caraveo (D-CO) uplifted the perspective of children to show how this group would be harmed by reduced Farm Bill funding. As a pediatrician, Representative Caraveo testified that food assistance is the best available option to many children facing food insecurity; however, some of the proposed changes to the Farm Bill would put four million children and three million caretakers at risk of losing SNAP benefits. She acknowledges that her colleagues on both sides of aisle want to prevent taking away food assistance from children, but in reality, this would be an inevitable consequence of reducing funding for the Farm Bill. Representative Caraveo concludes by reiterating that letting children go hungry leads to a host of negative outcomes and that altering the Farm Bill to reduce funding would exacerbate these problems.
By Leah Sarfity, Policy Intern