2020 Presidential Candidates on Food and Farming

Which candidates have shown their support for SNAP funding?

(Michael Bennet, Cory Booker, John Delaney, Kamala Harris, Tim Ryan, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren) 

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)’s overarching goal is to improve food security and reduce hunger in the United States. SNAP is a federal program that provides nutrition benefits to low-income individuals and families that are used at stores to purchase food. The program is administered by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and financed by The Farm Bill.

Which presidential candidate said about their participation: “My goals for the #SNAPChallenge are to raise awareness and understanding of food insecurity; reduce the stigma of SNAP participation; elevate innovative local and national food justice initiatives and food policy; and, amplify compassion for individuals and communities in need of assistance”?  

(Cory Booker)

During his participation in 2012, the SNAP Challenge required participants to live on $30 of groceries for one week, in an attempt to understand the reality of relying on SNAP benefits.

Who negotiated $5 billion for commodity subsidies at the expense of smaller reform and aid programs in the 2013 Farm Bill extension?  

(Joe Biden)

Whose administration has been in trade wars with China, Mexico, and others, resulting in $28 billion in aid payouts to U.S. farmers unable to sell their harvests internationally?

(Donald Trump)

Which candidates support the Fairness for Farmworkers Act?

(Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Amy Klobuchar all co-sponsored the bill)

  • The Fairness for Farmworkers Act would grant farmworkers overtime protection.
  • The 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) excluded agricultural workers from minimum wage and overtime protections.
  • Phase-in period period from 2022 to 2025 depending on the size of the employer
  • Written by Kamala Harris, which led to her endorsement by Dolores Huerta

Which candidate hopes to run as “the food candidate” and introduced a bill to eradicate food deserts?

(Tim Ryan)

  • Healthy Food Access for All Americans Act was created to help bring funds to increase healthy SNAP purchases in his district.
  • This bill amends the Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 to require the USDA to update the Food Access Research Atlas at least annually to account for food retailers that are placed in service during that year.
  • Provides incentives in the form of tax credits and grants for food service providers that open grocery stores, mobile markets, farmers’ markets, or food banks in food desert regions
  • A food desert is defined within this bill as an area “more than 1 mile away from a grocery store in a metropolitan area or more than 10 miles away outside of a metropolitan area. It must also meet population requirements and have either a poverty rate of at least 20% or a median family income that does not exceed 80% of the median for the state or metropolitan area.”

Which candidates have endorsed the idea of free school lunch for all students?

(Julian Castro and Bernie Sanders)

  • Free school lunch for all students regardless of income 
  • One in six children go hungry in America today. Instead of shaming students with lunch debts and wondering why they have difficulty learning on an empty stomach, Bernie and Julian want to feed them free breakfast, lunch and snacks. This program would be open to every child, regardless of parental wealth.

Which candidates have supported a ban on factory farming?

(Julian Castro, Tulsi Gabbard, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Marianne Williamson)

According to the Food and Water Watch, “Factory farms perpetuate climate change, produce enormous volumes of manure, pollute the air and water, exploit workers, fuel antibiotic resistance and harm the rural communities they claim to help.” The factory farming bill aims to end factory farming in the following ways:

  • The construction of new factory farms and the expansion of existing facilities should be banned, and we should transition to a more sustainable way of raising animals for food.
  • The EPA should adopt and enforce appropriate environmental rules to prevent factory farm pollution, and state environmental authorities must step up their coordination and enforcement of regulations on factory farms.  
  • Congress should restore sensible farm programs that do not prioritize the production of artificially cheap livestock feed over fair prices to crop farmers, removing one of the major drivers of the factory farm system – cheap feed.
  • The Food and Drug Administration should ban the use of antibiotics in food animals for any non-therapeutic use.
  • The Department of Justice must prevent the continued consolidation of the meatpacking and poultry, egg and dairy processing industries and revisit the mergers it has already approved to ensure that farmers get fair prices for their livestock. The USDA should use its existing authority to stop meat and poultry companies from using unfair contracts to put farmers at a disadvantage.

Who owns a farm focused on regenerative agriculture, carbon farming, and local food sourcing?

(Tom Steyer)

In addition to being an active philanthropist on climate change, Steyer with his wife, Kat Taylor, own and operate the 1,800 TomKat Ranch in Pescadero, California.

Who called for farm-to-table restaurants in every community as a solution to poor nutrition? 

(Beto O’Rourke)

Source: https://civileats.com/2019/05/29/where-the-2020-presidential-candidates-stand-on-food-and-farming/

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