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As Congress and presidential candidates trade accusations over immigration reform, advocates and experts urge caution in spreading misinformation; Alabama takes new action IVF policy following controversial court decision; and central states urge caution with wildfires brewing.

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Congress reaches a deal to avoid a partial government shutdown again. Arizona Republicans want to ensure Trump remains on their state ballot and Senate Democrats reintroduce the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

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Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

Kentuckians Kick-Off Hunger Action Month

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Monday, August 21, 2023   

As anti-hunger advocates gather today at the state Capitol to launch Feeding Kentucky's Hunger Action Month kickoff, experts say the next Farm Bill -- the nation's largest nutrition and agricultural legislation -- will decide the fate of many of the federal food programs Kentuckians rely on.

Cassidy Wheeler, advocacy coordinator for Feeding Kentucky, said new work reporting requirements are expected to impact many Kentuckians 50 and older who rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP.

"13,000 Kentuckians who are between the ages of 50 and 55, they're at risk of losing their SNAP benefits because of these new requirements that got put into place with the debt ceiling negotiations," Wheeler explained.

The U.S. House is expected to pass its version of the Farm Bill at the end of September. According to the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, in 2020 SNAP provided food assistance to 219,000 children, 60,000 people over the age of 60, and more than 20,000 adults.

Amid soaring gas and grocery prices, and cost-of living expenses, Wheeler noted the Farm Bill also provides an opportunity to strengthen The Emergency Food Assistance Program known as TEFAP.

"It supplies over 20% of food to food banks," Wheeler reported. "If you've ever heard of people go into a food bank monthly to get kind of boxes of food, that's TEFAP."

This year, nearly two-thirds of responding food banks reported an increase in demand for food assistance, according to Feeding America's latest food bank pulse survey.

Disclosure: The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Health Issues, and Smoking Prevention. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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House Bill passed with an overwhelming vote of 94-6, with three abstentions. Its companion, Senate Bill 159, passed unanimously with a vote of 34-0. (Chad Robertson/Adobe Stock)

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