Sioux Falls, S.D. (KELO AM) - The Farm Bill has two parts, the Commodity Title and the Nutrition Title. For a non-profit organization like Feeding South Dakota, the Nutritional Title plays an important part.
“For people in South Dakota that need that assistance, the commodities that we gain access through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) are what is important,” said Matt Gassen, Executive Director, Feeding South Dakota. “Our interest is to get a Farm Bill passed so we can get some stability in the commodities funded through the Farm Bill.”
Gassen said traditionally, the Farm Bill has never been a bi-partisan issue, and now we have people from all over the country voting. Then you have the house wanting to break out the Nutritional Title; now you have a partisan issue. When you take the nutritional portion and make it a partisan issue, you are talking about a 40-billion dollar cut to just the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP).
“We touch the lives of over 100-thousand people in South Dakota each year,” said Gassen. “We work with food pantries in Sioux Falls and Rapid City not to mention non-profit charitable organizations across the state in 66 counties. We are looking forward to the Jam Down in Terrace Park where bands get together and play which gives us food and monetary donations needed in the slow summer months.”
Gassen said the private sector donations are a big help for people struggling to put food on the table. People need to reach out to their congressional delegates and let them know it’s important to pass the farm bill.
“An extension of the bill isn’t an option and it costs more money in the long run,” said Gassen. “Congress and the Senate need to get off the dime and compromise. It’s vitally important to our country and to the people who rely on us.”
Matt Gassen was interviewed by Bill Zortman on the Greg Belfrage Show August 8, 2013.
To listen to this interview please go to: http://kelo.com/podcasts/greg-belfrage-show/742/feeding-south-dakota-talks-snap-program-and-farm-bill/