Costa pledges to build stronger nutrition programs
Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif., seeking the House Committee on Agriculture chairmanship, is committing to making nutrition programs among his top priorities in the 117th Congress.
Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., has been the House Agriculture Committee chairman but lost in the 2020 election. Rep. David Scott, D-Georgia, also is seeking the chairman’s role. An official announcement of the next chair is expected by early January.
“No American should go hungry,” Costa said in a news release. “I see poverty every day in my district, where 25% of my constituents rely on SNAP to feed their families. My track record is clear – I have fought against any and all who sought to roll back these benefits, and I’ve worked to expand programs that feed the most vulnerable Americans. Every American deserves to have enough food to eat.”
The release said a study from Columbia University found that 55 million people in the U.S. live in poverty, including 8 million people who entered poverty since May 2020. More than 35 million people in the U.S. are food insecure, according to the release, and nearly 43 million people depend on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to help put food on the table.
“I view SNAP as a critical safety net, providing our communities with the foundation to grow and thrive,” Costa said in the release. “This is not the time to consider cuts or to put up more roadblocks to people receiving the help they need. We must be vigilant in our fight to maintain and expand our nutrition mission.”
The release cited Costa’s accomplishments in nutrition:
- Blocking Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) rules for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs) and Categorical Eligibility that would Costa said would deny support to the most vulnerable communities;
- Advocating for increased nutrition assistance to American families impacted by COVID-19
- Introducing the Farm to Food Bank Enhancement Act to provide $25 million for states to expand and establish new farm to food bank projects and feed families during the COVID-19 crisis;
- Fighting for $67 billion in funding for SNAP in FY20 Appropriations bill; and
- Establishing education and training programs designed to help SNAP recipients become self-sufficient.
“Congressman Jim Costa cares about people and is a champion for everyone,” Pao Yang, president and CEO of the Fresno Center, said in the release. “His efforts to ensure community organizations like The Fresno Center have access to the Farmers to Families Food Box Program has helped put food on the tables of Southeast Asian refugees and Immigrants Families, many who are small farmers living in rural communities. Without these efforts, many in our community would go hungry.”