NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Senator Ben Ray Lujan spoke with local food banks and the public on Thursday about upcoming national legislation about food access in America. The ‘Farm Bill’ is the legal framework for agricultural and food policy, that is discussed and reworked every five years.

Food bank workers talked to the senator about bringing more meat processing inspectors into the state, after-school meals, and concerns about families that just barely miss the guidelines for food assistance, but are still living paycheck to paycheck. “I always feel a lot of concern for those people who are just a smidge over, because they’re still having such a hard time making ends meet,” said Lujan. “I think those eligibility guidelines are kind of antiquated. Yes, that’s what I’d say. I think rent in New Mexico has increased 300% since 2018, but our wages, of course, have not matched that.”

Lujan then led a roundtable discussion on extending the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) program with stakeholders from the state. The last Farm Bill was signed in 2018 and is set to expire on September 30 of this year.