Atlanta Food Bank Reacts To U.S. Farm Bill Vote

Jun 21, 2013

Bill Bolling, executive director of the Atlanta Community Food Bank, says funding for nutrition programs in the U.S. Farm Bill is crucial.
Credit Elly Yu/for WABE

 The U.S House of Representatives voted against its own version of the farm bill Thursday. That raises questions about funding the nation’s farm and nutrition programs this year.

The house bill would have cut more than 20 billion dollars over 10 years from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as foods stamps.

Bill Bolling is the executive director of the Atlanta Community Food Bank, which distributes more than 30 million pounds of food a year.

He says though the version of the bill would have cut food assistance  programs, he’s disappointed that it didn’t move further.

“You know, they’re two years late on this farm bill. They’ve just been kicking the can down the road," Bolling said. 

If the bill had passed, the measure would have gone to a conference committee because it was different than the Senate’s Farm Bill. But there are questions now on what’s next.

“At stake are hungry children all over Georgia and all over America," Bolling said. "We feel like it’s a moral issue, an ethical issue of being truthful to what American values are. Children's lives are at stake."

He says in last four years, the food bank has doubled its distribution to meet demand.

Meanwhile, Bolling anticipates continuing to expand its services.