HEAL Food Alliance Opposes Policies in House Farm Bill, Including Exclusion of Workers, Cuts to SNAP, and Removal of Support for Climate-Related Programs

May 17, 2024 – Today, after an extreme delay, the House Agriculture Committee released its 2024 Farm Bill, the Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024. The HEAL (Health, Environment, Agriculture, Labor) Food Alliance opposes the committee’s short-sighted recommendations for the bill. Even with the delay, the House Farm Bill falls far short of HEAL’s policy recommendations, which lay the groundwork for a thriving future for us all. Instead, the House bill moves the nation backward, doing nothing to address farmers’ concerns and readiness for climate change, provide increased protections for food and farm workers, and transform our food and farm system by prioritizing the well-being of human and environmental health. Specifically:

  • Since its inception, the farm bill has excluded working people who are not farm owners, despite the fact that the policies in the bill affect their lives. It is no surprise that the House Farm Bill continues to ignore the need for protections for the 21.5 million food and farmworkers who remain critical to our food supply. In fact, the bill decreases protections for farmworkers by limiting state and local authorities’ ability to regulate pesticides. Food and farm workers continue to face hazardous conditions in the workplace, including chemical pesticide exposures, extreme heat, and unsafe line speeds in processing plants.
  • Today, 44.2 million people, including over 13 million children, live in food insecure households, yet this bill will slash the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by $27 billion. Although the bill improves SNAP eligibility for certain demographics such as college students, it will restrict the USDA’s ability to set SNAP benefits, eroding nutrition programs’ long-term ability to provide access to vulnerable families and communities across the country. This is unconscionable, and polling shows a majority of voters across party lines expressed concern about low-income households having trouble accessing food assistance programs, from a high of 79% in GA and PA to 76% in MI and 74% in CO. Notably, 72% of Republican respondents saw lack of access to food assistance as a threat to communities in their state. 
  • Of concern, the bill also removes climate-related safeguards for the IRA funding in conservation programs. To be clear, the 2024 Farm Bill must be a climate bill. Removing support for climate-related programs and practices will further disadvantage farmers who are investing in regenerative agriculture and traditional ecological knowledge to build resiliency in their operations.
  • The House Farm Bill bill also includes a dangerous exemption to the 1071 Rule of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act that would allow farm credit system lenders to stop reporting loan data to the Consumer Financial Protections Bureau (CFPB). For too long, lending institutions have discriminated against Black, Indigenous, and other farmers of color, and ensuring that we have effective and fair policy requires data collection and transparency so that the public knows which farmers are being served and which may be left behind. To help ensure collection of more robust data, it is critical that agricultural lenders — including those regulated by the FCA – participate in demographic reporting to the CFPB. 

Earlier this month, we welcomed Senator Stabenow’s 2024 Farm Bill proposal that includes the establishment of a Farmworker and Food System Worker Advisory Committee to be made of farmworkers and food system workers to advise USDA on improving worker safety, education, and job training programs. The Senate Farm Bill proposal also includes several of HEAL’s Farm Bill priorities such as retaining IRA funds for climate-related conservation programs, providing additional support for BIPOC and immigrant farmers, investigating anti-competitive issues, and expanding investments for local and regional food systems. Further, the Senate proposal does not restrict USDA’s ability to use funding from the Commodity Credit Corporation to provide oftentimes emergency resources for farmers, which the House Farm Bill attempts to do.

HEAL strongly urges Congress to reject the House version of the Farm Bill. To ensure the safety and resilience of our food supply and families across the country, HEAL recommends that Congress move forward with a Farm Bill that more closely mirrors the Senate proposal. While imperfect, the Senate version of the bill provides opportunities for farmers, workers, and families to thrive. 


The HEAL (Health, Environment, Agriculture, Labor) Food Alliance is a national multi-sector, multi-racial coalition. HEAL is led by its member-organizations, who represent about two million rural and urban farmers, ranchers, fishers, farm and food chain workers, Indigenous groups, scientists, public health advocates, policy experts, and community organizers united in their commitment to transformed food and farm systems.