Washington, D.C. — The Farm Bill passed by the U.S. Senate leaves out multivitamins as an allowable purchase with SNAP benefits. But the fight is not over yet.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) failed to get an amendment inserted to include the benefit, which made its way through the House version.
The two versions now go to a committee to craft a final bill. Steve Mister, president of the Council for Responsible Nutrition, told New Hope Network that CRN will mount a campaign to reinstate the multivitamin that includes newspaper advertising, social media messaging and grassroots organizing.
The bill already faces some challenges as it incorporates a work requirement for recipients to receive SNAP (formerly known as food stamps).
According to Mister, anti-hunger groups opposed the multivitamins because they wanted all money to go toward food expenditures. Industry has maintained the multivitamin serves an important function by cost-effectively adding nutrients to the diet. Purchases would also be voluntary.