WASHINGTON — This week, Congresswoman Nikki Budzinski (IL-13) highlighted food access needs in Central and Southern Illinois during a congressional hearing with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack. During the hearing, Budzinski relayed her concerns that the recently announced closure of the Cahokia Heights Walmart will worsen an already existing food desert for local residents.
“Every family deserves access to healthy, affordable food options. But the closure of the Cahokia Heights Walmart will reduce food access in an already underserved community,” said Congresswoman Budzinski. “I’ve signed on to support the Food Deserts Act – which would support the operation of grocery stores in areas with limited food access – and I’m pushing to ensure that the Healthy Food Financing Initiative receives full funding in the upcoming budget to provide financial assistance to projects opening or expanding grocery stores where they’re most needed.”
The Food Deserts Act would provide USDA funding for state-operated revolving funds to issue low interest loans for the operation of grocery stores in communities with limited food access. The bill ensures that recipients of these loans, including for-profit, non-profit and municipal entities, will provide affordable, healthy food, including fresh produce and staples like milk, bread and meat. It also ensures that USDA professionals are available to provide technical assistance to recipients who need it.
The Healthy Food Financing Initiative works to improve access to healthy foods in underserved areas, create and preserve quality jobs and revitalize low-income communities. The program aims to build a more equitable food system by providing financial resources to eligible healthy food retail projects and food supply chain enterprises to overcome the high costs and initial barriers to entry in underserved areas.
SPRINGFIELD, IL — Today, Congresswoman Nikki Budzinski (IL-13) released the following statement on the Environmental Protection Agency’s newly finalized rule that will allow eight midwestern states to sell E15 year-round beginning in 2025. The rule applies to Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. “We know that higher blends of biofuels help to save consumers […]
Budzinski Announces $1.8 Million in Rural Energy Funding
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Nikki Budzinski (IL-13) announced that ten small businesses in Madison and Macoupin counties will be receiving more than $1.8 million in Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These funds will go directly to energy efficiency upgrades that will lower energy bills for recipients. Many of […]
Budzinski, New Democrat Coalition Release Framework for Bipartisan Border Security and Immigration Reform
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Nikki Budzinski (IL-13) joined fellow members of the New Democrat Coalition to unveil a new framework for bipartisan border security and immigration reform. The framework is intended to provide additional resources for border security, bolster the U.S. economy and workforce, improve pathways to legal status and help address the broken asylum system. Congresswoman […]