Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday, by a vote of 266-160, passed H.R. 2997, legislation making appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes. Of particular interest to American Samoa are provisions under Title IV, Domestic Food Programs, which stipulate the amount that American Samoa Government (ASG) would receive under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) for FY 2010. These two programs continue to provide for the basic needs of our people.
“Formerly known as the federal Food Stamp Program, SNAP focuses on nutrition and putting healthy food within reach of the low income households. Over the years, this program has provided assistance to our low-income people and families to buy the food they need for good health,” Faleomavaega said.
“In 2002, Congress passed legislation that would provide block grants to ASG and Puerto Rico for the purpose of carrying out their nutrition assistance programs (Public Law 107-171, Title IV, Section 4124) (7 U.S.C. 2028). The amount received by ASG is adjusted based on the cost of food in the Territory. Under the new appropriation bill, H.R. 2997, ASG would receive $7.5 million in FY 2010, $500,000 more than the amount appropriated for FY 2009,” Faleomavaega explained.
“In addition to SNAP, our Territory also receives funding for the WIC program. Under the WIC program, low-income pregnant women, new mothers, and infants and children at nutritional risk of American Samoa receive nutritious foods, nutrition education, and access to health care. For FY 2010, the total appropriation for all States and territories including American Samoa would be $7.5 billion. While the exact amount for American Samoa is not yet determined at this point, the assumption is, the final amount would be more than what ASG received last year,” Faleomavaega added.
“I thank my colleagues in Congress for continuing to recognize and provide for the needs of our Territory,” Faleomavaega concluded.