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Food Pantries Keep an Eye on Farm Bill

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Food pantries in the Chicago-area are closely watching the progress of the U.S. Farm Bill. That’s because the majority of the proposed funding is aimed at nutritional programs.

Both the U.S. House and Senate passed the Farm Bill with strong majorities this week. The bill includes roughly $200 billion for emergency food aid and food stamps. Kate Maehr is executive director of the Greater Chicago Food Depository. She says this year has been the toughest in the organization’s nearly 30-year history.

MAEHR: At the same time that it’s more difficult for us to get food into this organization, the need is increasing. We’ve seen a 12 percent increase in the number of individuals turning to the food pantries and soup kitchens here in Cook County.

Maehr says if the bill is signed by President Bush, it could mean millions of pounds of food for the area’s food pantries. The president has said he’ll veto the legislation.

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