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May 12, 2015

Rep. Pete Aguilar Reflects on SNAP Challenge to Raise Awareness for Nutrition and Hunger in the Inland Empire

On Sunday evening, Rep. Pete Aguilar (CA-31) and his wife Alisha completed a week-long SNAP challenge, where they could not spend more than $4.73 per person, per day on food – the average benefit for California’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients. Rep. Aguilar and his wife did the challenge to raise awareness for nutrition and hunger throughout the Inland Empire and to better understand what thousands of families on SNAP throughout San Bernardino County go through every day.

“This was definitely an eye-opening experience. While my wife and I were able to plan relatively well, we only did this for a week. For families relying on SNAP, this is their lifestyle—this is every day. As the father of two young sons, this is very personal to me. Thousands of parents in our community, especially single parents who work multiple jobs, struggle each day to find ways to plan balanced, healthy meals for their children,” said Rep. Aguilar. He continued, “This challenge really showed me that we have a lot of work to do to ensure that parents aren’t forced to choose between what’s nutritious and what’s affordable. It’s critical that Congress safeguards funding for SNAP and expands resources for recipients that helps them find and plan healthy meals on a tight budget. I look forward to sharing my experience with my colleagues and working together to confront the issues of hunger and nutrition across the Inland Empire and the rest of the country.”

Rep. Aguilar is a member of the House Committee on Agriculture and the Subcommittee on Nutrition, which has jurisdiction over the SNAP and other nutrition programs.  He also recently joined the House Hunger Caucus, a bipartisan organization made up of Members dedicated to working on food insecurity issues.  Rep. Aguilar and his wife Alisha did the SNAP challenge from Sunday, May 3rd through Sunday, May 10th. The Aguilars’ experience was documented by the Redlands Daily Facts and can be read here.


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