WASHINGTON (CBS19 NEWS) -- A member of Virginia’s congressional delegation and other Democrats want to see certain food benefits included in the 2023 Farm Bill.

Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger and other Democrats serving on the House Agriculture Committee say it is important to protect the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, while negotiations on the bill continue.

Across the country, more than 34 million people are considered food insecure, and nine million of those are children.

According to a release, the Democrats sent a letter to the U.S. House Budget Committee on Wednesday urging leaders to avoid making any cuts to SNAP.

They specifically highlighted the positive economic impacts of federal nutrition programs like SNAP on children and families, such as better health outcomes.

“Over the next decade, SNAP spending will continue to support a robust national economy by returning $1.50 for each additional dollar spent in a recovering economy, and by generating hundreds of thousands of jobs in grocery, transportation, manufacturing, and other industries,” wrote the Democrats. “Further, SNAP’s outsized economic impact in rural communities will help to ensure that economic recovery does not leave these communities behind; SNAP spending is shown to increase rural economic output annually by 1.25 percent and rural employment by 1.18 percent and to have a stronger impact on poverty in rural counties than non-rural counties.”

This comes in the wake of families across the United States seeing their SNAP benefits decline, in some instances by hundreds of dollars a month, as the last emergency support programs instituted during the COVID-19 pandemic expired.

To read the full letter, click here.