Washington D.C., Apr 27, 2023 / 14:20 pm
The United States Catholic bishops are urging Congress to prioritize programs that feed needy families, support small-family farmers, and fund rural development in the 2023 Farm Bill, which legislative committees are currently crafting.
The farm bill, which Congress renews every few years, is a comprehensive bill that normally includes farming subsidies, funding for food assistance programs, conservation initiatives, and rural development funding, among other things. The last farm bill passed in 2018 and much of its initiatives expire in 2023.
In a letter to the leadership of the House Committee on Agriculture and the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) reminded lawmakers of Pope Francis’ comments that “hunger is criminal, food is an inalienable right” when asking lawmakers to prioritize efforts to feed families.
The letter was signed by Bishop Borys Gudziak, archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia and chair of the USCCB’s Committee on International Justice, and Bishop David Malloy of the Diocese of Rockford, Illinois, who serves as chair of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.