Farm Bill Should Assist Hungry At Home And Abroad, Help Struggling Farmers, Promote Stewardship, Say Catholic Leaders In Letter

May 9, 2013 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—The 2013 Farm Bill is anopportunity to address outdated agriculture policies and help hungry people athome and abroad, said leaders of four Catholic organizations in May 9 letters.The letters went to leadership of the Agriculture committees of both the U.S.Senate and House of Representatives.

"This is a crucial time to build amore just framework that puts poor and hungry people first, serves small andmoderate-sized family farms, promotes sustainable stewardship of the land andhelps vulnerable farmers and rural communities both at home and in developingcountries," wrote Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California, BishopRichard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, Father Larry Snyder, president ofCatholic Charities USA, Carolyn Woo, Ph.D., president of Catholic ReliefServices, and James Ennis, executive director of the National Catholic RuralLife Conference.

Bishop Blaire and Bishop Pates chairthe U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committees on Domestic Justice andHuman Development and International Justice and Peace, respectively.

The letters outlined five prioritiesfor the Farm Bill:

·Support for the Supplemental NutritionAssistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps, and other programs thathelp hungry people.

·Protection of funding for internationalemergency assistance and food security development projects.

·Subsidies for farmers who truly need assistanceand who comply with environmentally sound and sustainable farming practices.

·Promotion of programs for farmers to helpconserve water, energy, soil and wildlife habitats.

·Support for programs that help the developmentof urban communities.

The full text of the Senate letteris available online: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/agriculture-nutrition-rural-issues/upload/Joint-Senate-Farm-Bill-Principles-and-Priorties-Ltr-2013-05-09.pdf

USCCB and the National CatholicRural Life Conference also signed onto a May 6 letter, urging Congress toresist proposals that would weaken the SNAP program: http://frac.org/pdf/national_org_snap_support_letter.pdf

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Keywords: Farm Bill, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops,USCCB, U.S. bishops, Catholic Church, hunger, poverty, rural life, CatholicRelief Services, CRS, CCUSA, Catholic Charities USA, Carolyn Woo, Father LarrySnyder, National Catholic Rural Life Conference, Senate Committee onAgriculture, SNAP, food stamps, international assistance, emergency relief,conservation, subsidies, farmers

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MEDIA CONTACT ONLY:Don ClemmerO: 202-541-3206Email