The Delta Grassroots Caucus (DGC) is a broad coalition of grassroots leaders in the eight-state Delta region. DGC is also a founding partner of the Economic Equality Caucus,
which advocates for economic equality across the USA.

Urge Your US Senators to Vote For Senate Ag Committee Version of Farm Bill--Week of June 25-29

Posted on June 25, 2018 at 01:59 PM

The Delta Caucus and Economic Equality Caucus ask all our colleagues across the country to join large numbers of mainstream nutrition, agriculture and public policy organizations in urging your US Senators to vote for the Senate Agriculture Committee version of the Farm Bill (S. 3042), and to vote “No” on any and all harmful amendments that would cut or weaken the vital SNAP hunger and nutrition safety net.

We are conveying information from the Food Research and Action Center, Feeding America, and Hunger Free America in this newsletter. These three great organizations were among the key participants at our policy seminar on Capitol Hill with several key Members of Congress in late May, and we commend their great leadership on nutrition issues in America.

The Farm Bill is absolutely essential for the eight-state Greater Delta Region, in the agriculture programs, rural development, and nutrition—which is crucial for our region because we unfortunately rank last among America’s major regions in food security.

Major agriculture organizations are weighing in for this bill and we welcome an alliance of supporters of farmers and nutrition programs.

We are conveying the following Alert from Food Research and Action Center and Feeding America—

Take these steps to protect SNAP in the Senate Farm Bill:

1) On Tuesday, June 26, call 1-888-398-8702 and enter your zip code to be connected to your Senators. (Toll-free number courtesy of Feeding America.)

2) Urge your Senators to vote to protect and strengthen SNAP, to vote “Yes” on the Senate Agriculture Committee version of the Farm Bill (S. 3042), and to vote “No” on any and all harmful amendments that would cut or weaken SNAP.

3) Senate Ag Cmte #FarmBill protects SNAP & keeps food on the table for children, working families, seniors, veterans, ppl with disabilities, among others. We join @fractweets in urging @SenateFloor to vote NO on any amendments that would weaken #SNAP


S. 3042 (pdf) passed the Senate Agriculture Committee on June 13. It is expected to be taken up by the Senate this week, with a vote likely on Thursday, June 28. Unlike the House Farm Bill (H.R. 2), the Senate bill protects SNAP benefit levels and eligibility, and keeps food on the table for struggling low-income people.

A Quick Friendly Reminder—Please send in your Annual Membership dues to the Delta Caucus ASAP

Annual dues at a minimum of $25 for individuals, or $50 or $100 for medium or larger organizations or those who just wish to donate a larger amount. These help enable us to do our advocacy work.

The easiest way to pay annual membership dues for 2018 is to go to the website at and go to the PayPal link that says “Donate.”

If you wish to pay by check, please make out the check to “Delta Caucus” and mail to:

Delta Caucus

5030 Purslane Place

Waldorf, MD 20601

Examples of Mainstream Organizations Supporting SNAP

There are huge numbers of agriculture, nutrition, and public policy organizations in the Delta and across the country supporting the Senate Ag committee version of the Farm Bill. Here are just a few examples:

· AARP opposes H.R. 2 in its current form because it adds new barriers in the SNAP program … that will result in greater food insecurity and older Americans losing the nutritional assistance they need and depend on.”

· The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights urges Congress to “combat hunger and food insecurity by protecting and strengthening SNAP in a bipartisan farm bill.”

· 167 National women’s groups sent a letter to House Members stating that the House version of the Farm Bill’s “proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) threaten the economic security of women and families by proposing restrictions on categorical eligibility, mandatory participation in the federal child support enforcement program, harsh expansions of work requirements, and increased paperwork for families and states.”

· Agriculture/conservation/food and nutrition groups urge Congress not to make budget cuts to the agriculture and nutrition programs.

· U.S. Conference of Mayors resolution: Urging the Passage of a Farm Bill That Supports Healthy Food Access and Sustainable Food Systems.

· The Council of State Governments resolution urges Congress to enact a 2018 Farm Bill reauthorization that includes a strong domestic hunger and nutrition safety net, noting the importance of SNAP in rural areas, for military families and farmers, and in response to disasters.

· The National Grocers Association letter to Members of Congress, signed by nearly 900 grocers from all 50 states, notes Congress’s “decades-long recognition that supermarkets remain an indispensable private sector partner in the successful public-private partnership of the SNAP program”—and strongly opposes replacing household SNAP benefits with a government-run direct food distribution service.

· The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda’s letter opposing H.R. 2 states that the bill’s provisions related to SNAP would be detrimental to Latino and other communities across the United States.

FACTS: There is still far too much hunger in the Delta and many other areas of America:

While the Delta Caucus strongly supports the Senate committee version as vastly superior to the House version, we would also echo the comments of Joel Berg, CEO of the national nonprofit Hunger Free America, that we still have a long way to go in fighting hunger in America.

41 million Americans still struggle against hunger. The average SNAP benefit is now only $1.36 per meal, and that is far below what it takes to buy a full, nutritious meal. Next year we must do better, but for now it is essential to pass the far superior Senate Ag committee version of the farm bill.

Delta states unfortunately had five of the six worst food insecurity levels in America in the USDA 2016 data. Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama were the three worst, with Arkansas and Kentucky respectively fourth and fifth. The only state outside of our region in the worst six states was New Mexico.

Food insecurity in 2016 data from the USDA Economic Research Service:

  1. Mississippi: 18.7%
  2. Louisiana: 18.3%
  3. Alabama: 18.1%
  4. New Mexico: 17.6%
  5. Arkansas: 17.5%
  6. Kentucky: 17.3%

The Great Majority of SNAP Recipients Work in Low-Paying Jobs, Are Children, Seniors or Disabled


· Almost 70% of SNAP participants are in families with children;

· 43% of SNAP participants live in a household receiving earnings from work;

· Nearly one third of SNAP recipients are in households with seniors or the disabled;

· In 2015 the SNAP program lifted 4.6 million Americans above the poverty line.