New Orleans Food Policy Advisory Committee
Possible SNAP cuts in Louisiana
Louisiana lawmakers have threatened to end the state's SNAP program if more money is not allocated to next years budget. SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, is used by 1 in 5 families in Louisiana, higher than the national average. Of the over 400,000 households receiving SNAP benefits, nearly half are children. A cut in SNAP also means that no benefits will be given after disasters such as a hurricane or flood, losing essential help for those recovering from a life-changing event.
A cut to SNAP is a cut to the health and prosperity of our children and our communities. SNAP has been proven to reduce food insecurity in households who use it, lower the poverty rate, and boost the local economy. Every $5 in new SNAP benefits generating $9 for the local economy.* No other state has cut SNAP benefits; making this an unprecedented move.
Lawmakers will convene a special 10 day session starting June 18. Now is the time to call your lawmaker and make your voice heard about SNAP cuts and the impact this will have. This program is vital to the health and wealth of Louisiana.
More information on the effect of SNAP can be found here
Senator Cassidy's Homepage (with all offices listed)
Urban Agriculture This bill mandates specific urban farmer support by Federal Government; resources that are currently available to farmers are located in rural areas and biased toward rural farmer experiences, while urban farmers face unique challenges and lack support services to address them. A group of Louisiana organizations has written a list of reasons to support this legislation, and provides a space to ask for Senator Cassidy to Co-Sponsor the Urban Agriculture Act.
Next Generation in Agriculture Act of 2018 The average age of a farmer in Louisiana in 2012 was 58.5 (1). This legislation would enhance training and support programs to ensure a new generation of Louisiana farmers can grow food and care for our land. There are two chapters of National Young Farmers Coalition in this state, one in New Orleans and one covering other parts of the state.
Louisiana State Data from Economic Research Service including Food Security, Farmland Acreage, and Farm Economic Indicators. 67% of the number of farms in Louisiana made under $10,000 in sales in 2012; the average size of a farm was 281 acres (2). Senator Cassidy should consider the impact of crop insurance and grant and loan programs as they relate to small-scale producers.
Louisiana State Ag Data from National Agriculture Statistics Survey dives deeper into value and ranking of Louisiana crops. Food crops are noticeably low-value on these charts. In order to feed ourselves locally and support our food farmers, the Farm Bill should ensure small, food-crop farmers have access to support and programs.
Farm Bill Tracker