Merced County Times Newspaper
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Rep. Costa Pledges To Build Stronger Nutrition Programs

Jim Costa
Jim Costa

Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16), who is seeking the House Committee on Agriculture chairmanship, commits to making nutrition programs among his top priorities in the 117th Congress.

“No American should go hungry,” Costa said. “I see poverty every day in my district, where 25 percent of my constituents rely on SNAP to feed their families. These hard-working people need a hand up to get by. 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.”

According to a new study from Columbia University researchers, 55 million people in the U.S. live in poverty. That number includes 8 million people who entered poverty since May 2020, with Black and Hispanic people and children highly impacted. In the U.S., over 35 million people are considered “food insecure.”

“Congressman Costa is a champion of food and nutrition programs,” said Bill Gibbs, the executive director of the Merced County Food Bank. “In the rural area of Merced, around a quarter of our population depend on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The Congressman has stood up against all efforts to cut this program, and has been a strong advocate for expanding benefits to help more in our communities. Many hard-working people rely on SNAP to make ends meet. The Congressman understands and empathizes with them, and advocates for programs and policies that support the needs of food insecure people in our community.”

Across the country, nearly 43 million people depend on SNAP to help put food on the table, including nearly a quarter of the constituents of CA-16. The vast majority are working Americans with nearly a third of all households nationwide having two or more family members working to provide for their families.

“I view SNAP as a critical safety net, providing our communities with the foundation to grow and thrive,” Costa said. “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.”

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