Press Release ● Older Americans & Seniors
For Immediate Release: 
May 14, 2008
Contact Info: 
Stacey Farnen Bernards
(202) 225 - 3130

WASHINGTON, DC – Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD) today joined with leaders of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) to applaud the nutrition benefits for minority communities in the Farm Bill Conference Report being debated on the floor of the House today.
“One of the farm bill’s most notable provisions is the unprecedented investment in nutrition that will ease the strain of rising food costs for millions of America’s most vulnerable children and families,” stated House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. “Its focus on nutrition, as well as other included minority-focused provisions, represents a real victory for America’s minority citizens and indeed for all Americans.”
“Right now, 38 million American do not have enough to eat.  That’s nearly 11% of the population of the US,” said Congressman Joe Baca (CA-43), Chair of the CHC.  “The impact to communities of color is twice as much, and that is why we have taken extraordinary steps to expand the Nutrition title of this bill.  This bill also has a historic commitment to diversity in the Agriculture industry.”
“Increased nutrition benefits will go a long way in helping American families struggling with rising food costs,” said Congressman Mike Honda (CA-15), Chair of CAPAC. “Only 23.6% of Asian Americans living below poverty level currently receive food stamps, compared to 37.6% of the total population living below poverty level. This bill authorizes food stamp education programs and as a member of the Appropriations committee, I will work to ensure adequate funding for education and outreach so that those eligible in all our communities, including Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, have access to these critical programs.”
“I am pleased that the Farm bill takes sustainable steps toward reshaping America’s farm policy and increases our nation’s capacity to support the Hmong community in California, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, and North Carolina,” said Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN-4), a member of CAPAC, whose district has the 2nd largest Hmong population the country.
“The Farm Bill is the most important opportunity Congress will have this year to address the nutritional needs of disadvantaged children, struggling working families, and seniors in our communities,” said Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis (CA-32), Chair of the CHC Task Force on Health and the Environment.  “It will increase the funding for food stamps and food bank programs vital to ensuring that the most vulnerable meet their nutritional needs.  With the rising cost of food, housing, and utilities, the increase support for nutrition programs will assist millions of low- and middle-income families that are struggling in today’s economy.”