Balanced Reporting. Trusted Insights. Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Debt limit deal offers wins for both parties on SNAP work rules



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Agri-Pulse Newsmakers: May 26, 2023: Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif., Sara Neagu-Reed, Dennis Nuxoll on ag spending bill, Colorado River talks

The House Appropriations Committee delayed the consideration of a bill to fund several government agencies key to food and ag policy this week as debt ceiling talks lingered. Committee member and California Republican David Valadao joins Newsmakers to discuss that delay, his thoughts on some critical parts of the bill and analyze this week’s news on the Colorado River.

Then, Sara Neagu-Reed with AmericanHort and Dennis Nuxoll with Western Growers join a panel discussion on issues critical to western producers and growers of fruits, vegetables and tree nuts throughout the country including water rights, labor, automation research and the upcoming farm bill. 

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Ag by the numbers

Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer payments raised overall spending on USDA’s child nutrition programs in FY 2020


In March 2020, as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic forced the closure of schools nationwide, the provision of meals to children through USDA’s National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) was disrupted. In response, Congress authorized the creation of the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program to reimburse families whose children were eligible for free or reduced-price school meals for the value of the school meals their children missed due to pandemic-related school closures. In the first half of fiscal year (FY) 2020 (October 2019 through March 2020), spending on USDA’s largest child nutrition programs was about the same as in the first half of FY 2019 (October 2018 through March 2019). Those programs are the NSLP, SBP, Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), and the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). With the onset of the pandemic, spending on the NSLP, SBP, and CACFP fell to about $4.7 billion in the second half of FY 2020, a sharp decline compared to the roughly $9.9 billion spent on the programs over the same period in FY 2019. Although this decline was somewhat offset by about $3.9 billion in spending on SFSP in the latter half of FY 2020, overall spending on the four programs declined. However, P-EBT spending in the second half of FY 2020 amounted to about $10.7 billion, bringing total FY 2020 USDA expenditures on nutrition programs targeting children to $32.3 billion, or $8.7 billion more than all FY 2019 expenditures. This chart appears in the Amber Waves feature Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Transformed the U.S. Federal Food and Nutrition Assistance Landscape, released October 4, 2021.