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House, Senate pass Farm Bill that provides needed food assistance for thousands of North Dakotans

FARGO, N.D. – By a vote of 369-47, the United States House of Representatives Wednesday passed the current version of the Farm Bill that protects benefits for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) along with increases funding for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). The United States Senate had previously voted to pass the Farm Bill on Tuesday by a vote of 87-13. Overall, the bill will provide $867 billion to assist those in the agriculture industry.

The Farm Bill passed by both branches of Congress makes investments in SNAP job training without adding additional work requirements for those on the program. The bill also includes an additional $206 million in funding over 10 years for TEFAP, which is a U.S. Department of Agriculture program providing emergency food and nutrition assistance to low-income individuals including seniors.

“By strengthening our nutrition programs, this Farm Bill is crucial for the more than 97,000 hungry individuals served each year by the Great Plains Food Bank,” Great Plains Food Bank Ending Hunger 2.0 Director Melissa Sobolik said. “We thank members of both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives for their work across the aisle to approve a bi-partisan bill that is a win for hungry seniors, children and families in our region and allows them that safety net where food will be available if they need it.”

Each year, more than 54,000 individuals across the state of North Dakota rely of the SNAP program during difficult times. Meanwhile, as much as 10 percent of the food product distributed annually by the Great Plains Food Bank comes from government programs such as TEFAP. Without these critical resources, the Great Plains Food Bank would struggle to provide enough food assistance to fill that void.

The Farm Bill now moves to the desk of President Donald Trump for signing into law.

About the Great Plains Food Bank
Now it its 35th year, the Great Plains Food Bank serves as North Dakota’s only food bank. Its partner network includes 213 food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens, and other charitable feeding programs operating in 99 communities across N.D. and Clay County, Minn. Since 1983, the Great Plains Food Bank, through its partners and programs, have distributed more than 185 million pounds of food to children, seniors, and families in need. The Great Plains Food Bank is a member of Feeding America, the nation’s food bank network and was named the Not-for-Profit of the Year for 2018 by the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo Chamber of Commerce.

CONTACT
Website: www.greatplainsfoodbank.org
Twitter: @NDFoodBank
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