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FMI applauds passage of U.S. House Farm Bill

BY Antoinette Alexander

The House on Thursday passed legislation to address the economic challenges facing the nation’s farmers and ranchers, while making significant investments in opportunities for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients. The move drew praise from the Food Marketing Institute.

In a prepared statement, Hannah Walker, FMI’s senior director, technology and nutrition policy, said:

“FMI appreciates the work U.S. House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway and the Committee have done over the past few years holding dozens of hearings on Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) policy in order to craft H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018. The legislation offers a permanent ban on EBT processing fees and protects the privacy of our non-publicly traded independent retailer members. H.R. 2 maintains many of the efficiencies within SNAP that have helped keep costs down and improves SNAP retailer provisions.

“FMI and its retail members are committed to the public-private partnership we uphold with the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a facilitator of the SNAP program. We look forward to being a resource to Congress as the Farm Bill moves through the Senate, and we’ll continue to remind Members of Congress how jobs, wages and SNAP participant data affect each state. Our partnership has created tremendous efficiencies, fraud reductions and cost savings in the program over the past several decades.”

Upon passage, Conaway also commented and said, “Today’s vote was about keeping faith with the men and women of rural America and about the enduring promise of the dignity of a day’s work. It was about providing certainty to farmers and ranchers who have been struggling under the weight of a five-year recession and about providing our neighbors in need with more than just a hand out, but a hand up. I’m proud of what this body has accomplished, and now look forward to working with the Senate and the president to deliver a farm bill on time to the American people.”

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