There is an attractive aspect of the farm bill narrowly approved by the U.S. House last week. It has little chance of becoming law. The challenge ahead involves ensuring that the Senate version, on the agenda this week, does not become a vehicle for the more misguided provisions of the House legislation.

That especially goes for federal food aid, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the country’s most effective tool for addressing hunger. The program actually has improved the past decade as the Bush and Obama White Houses worked successfully to see that more of those who are eligible gained access to the assistance.

Now House Republicans, with the support of the Trump White House, want to add tougher work requirements for recipients. The House version expands those covered by the requirement, to ages 18 to 59. It sets up an onerous reporting regimen, for instance, allowing recipients limited time to prove they already are working 20 hours per week or qualify for an exemption.

Analysts warn that recipients could slip through the cracks, perhaps as many as 1 million low-income households covering more than 2 million people. What is most disappointing is that the risk of such hardship is so unnecessary.

As the expanded age range suggests, the food assistance program already has a work requirement, from ages 18 to 49. More, most recipients work, many holding one, two or three part-time positions in trying to make ends meet. And those who are not working? They typically care for someone else, attend school or suffer from chronic health conditions. The House takes aim at few yet jeopardizes assistance for many who are deserving.

Recall that full-time workers in six of Ohio’s top 10 most commonly held jobs need food assistance for a family of three. Which is a reminder that children can be harmed when adults, and thus households, lose assistance.

The House also gets ahead of things. In 2014, Congress, with bipartisan backing, launched pilot projects in 10 states to assess the most effective way to move recipients into training and jobs. Those projects are in progress, possibly starting to report next year. Why not wait for best practices?

As it is, the House bill hardly provides adequate funds for states to expand their job training efforts. The sum breaks down to $30 per recipient each month, when the usual cost is closer to $400.

The food assistance program is a success, notably in this era of stagnant wages for those at the lower income rungs. Each dollar spent generates $1.79 in economic activity. The program leads to better health outcomes and reduced health spending. Children perform better in the classroom.

All of this has made an impression in the Senate, where the Agriculture Committee has worked in a bipartisan fashion on its farm bill, and added advances to the food assistance program. The hope is the momentum will be sustained this week and endure through a conference committee with the House.