Press Release

Gillibrand Highlights Major Wins For New Yorkers In Farm Bill Framework

May 8, 2024

Major Legislative Package Would Expand SNAP, Support Dairy Farmers, Invest In Rural Economic Development – And Much More

Today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, held a virtual press conference to highlight major wins for rural New Yorkers included in the Farm Bill framework. The Farm Bill is a major piece of legislation passed every 5 years that sets national agriculture, nutrition, and forestry policy. A draft of the bill released last week includes many of the priorities Gillibrand fought to have included, including expanded access to SNAP benefits, increased funding for food banks, support for New York’s dairy and specialty crop farmers, and investments in rural infrastructure and economic development. Gillibrand is fighting to make sure these priorities are also included in the final bill. 

The Farm Bill is a tremendously important piece of legislation that directly impacts hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers,” said Senator Gillibrand. “And as a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I’ve fought to tailor it to the needs of our state’s agricultural producers, rural leaders, and food banks. This framework makes commonsense fixes to SNAP eligibility requirements to include more college students and service members. It strengthens protections for New York’s dairy farmers – the backbone of our agricultural industry – and provides resources for our apple orchards and vineyards. And it provides millions in funding to support rural hospitals and child care facilities and clean up PFAS contamination. This bill is a win for New York and I am determined to ensure that all of these priorities are included in the final legislation.” 

Gillibrand fought to have the following measures included in the Farm Bill framework: 


  • Expanding and improving access to SNAP benefits. Specifically, the Farm Bill framework would:
    • Make more military families eligible for SNAP by excluding Basic Allowance for Housing from income calculations used to determine SNAP eligibility. A recent Department of Defense report found that 24% of service members experience food insecurity.
    • Prevent jobseekers from losing their SNAP benefits by correcting a loophole in the SNAP Employment and Training program. This change is based on Gillibrand’s Training and Nutrition Stability Act
    • Allow former foster youth attending college who meet income eligibility to enroll in SNAP.
    • Allow individuals with felony drug convictions to enroll in SNAP. 
  • Providing $5 million per year for the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) to help end food deserts: HFFI is a USDA program that offers loans and grants to incentivize grocery stores to establish locations in underserved communities. Gillibrand has fought to secure funding for the program to address food deserts across New York State.
  • Increasing funding for food banks by $900 million over 10 years: The bill increases funding for the Emergency Food Assistance Program, which in turn provides funding to food banks. 


  • Protecting New York’s dairy farmers by strengthening the Dairy Margin Coverage Program, which protects farmers from losses when feed and milk prices fluctuate
  • Supporting New York’s fruit and vegetable farms by increasing funding for the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, which supports farmers at New York’s orchards and vineyards.
  • Preventing farmer suicides by reauthorizing and expanding the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network, which connects farmers to crisis hotlines that address the specific stressors of farming, including natural disasters, volatile commodity prices, debt, and isolation. 


  • Promoting rural economic growth by establishing the Rural Partnership Program, which would help rural communities find resources and funding to create jobs, build infrastructure, and support long-term economic stability. The Rural Partnership Program is modeled after Senator Gillibrand’s Rebuild Rural America Act.
  • Providing funding for rural hospitals and child care centers through Community Facilities Programs. 
  • Providing funding to help small towns clean up pollutants like PFAS.