The Coastal Bend Food Bank received a visit from Congressman Filemon Vela Thursday.

Vela visited the Food Bank to find out how much funding the facility received from the U.S. Agriculture Department. The visit was designed to get Vela up to speed for a vote in September on legislation that controls U.S. farm policy.

The Food Bank received more than $30,000 from the USDA for food storage and nutrition education programs. The Food Bank depends mainly on private donations but needs whatever federal dollars are available.

"Federal funding is a very crucial component of Feeding Amerca's operation and in particular all of our local food banks," Vela said. "If we were to sustain drastic cuts to federal nutrition programs in the Farm Bill, it would be crippling to food bank operations."

Vela plans to visit other food banks as well before the final vote on the Farm Bill, which controls policy for five years at a time.

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