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What A $955 Billion Farm Bill Means For Idaho

Emilie Ritter Saunders
Boise State Public Radio

The U.S. Senate passed a $955 billion Farm Bill Monday.  It covers everything from crop insurance to conservation, to commodity programs. 

But by far the largest part of the bill is for food stamps known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP.  States receive $760 billion for  those in need.  Right now, Idaho gets $29 million a month from the federal government for SNAP benefits.

The number of SNAP participants in Idaho went up dramatically during the recession.

Data from Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

On average, an Idaho recipient gets $128 a month from SNAP.  But that amount could drop, depending on how the future of the Farm Bill plays out.  In the Senate version, $4 billion of the program would be cut.  The U.S. House is looking at even deeper cuts, $20 billion over ten years.  Either version would likely mean less money coming to fewer recipients in Idaho.

In March, we reported 17 percent of people in Idaho don’t have access to enough food for an active, healthy life.  That’s according to the Idaho Foodbank and Feeding America, the hunger relief charity. 

Copyright 2013 Boise State Public Radio

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