Farm Bill And Fiscal Cliff Worry Area Foodbank

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – No action on the farm bill leaves the head of the St. Louis Area Foodbank wondering about the future.

President and CEO Frank Finnegan says passing the farm bill is critical.

“About a third of the product we distribute does come from USDA sources,” Finnegan explained. “Obviously, the majority of our product is donated but a third of it is from the USDA and those go through the Farm Bill legislation. The nutrition programs are all though the farm bill legislation.”

Senator Roy Blunt voted for the Senate’s earlier version of the farm bill and has said he would vote in favor of an extension of the current farm bill into the spring to let farm families plan for the coming year.

The impending “fiscal cliff” poses another threat to the Foodbank’s USDA partnership.

“Right now, nutrition programs are exempted from it but we should see the product. However, the administration funds, the funds for administration, transportation, and handling of the product is not exempt from the fiscal cliff so it will be interesting to see what occurs there,” Finnegan said.

He adds that any cuts to what was called the “food assistance” programs will result in an increase in families coming to the Foodbank.

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