On May 24 and 25, the American Heart Association brought heart disease and stroke patients, survivors, caregivers, health care providers and other advocates from across the country to Washington, D.C. for the Farm Bill Fly-In to ask their elected representatives to support nutrition and food security programs in the 2023 farm bill.
Every five years, Congress passes legislation that sets national agriculture, nutrition, conservation, and forestry policy, commonly referred to as the farm bill. The farm bill presents a critical opportunity to shape programs that address food insecurity and make healthy foods accessible to millions of people nationwide.
One of the issues covered under the farm bill is nutrition, which includes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). In addition, other small nutrition programs are also covered under this issue that help make affordable food available to families around the country.
During the Farm Bill Fly-In, four American Heart Association volunteers from Colorado advocated for food and nutrition programs, and urged Congress to expand and improve critical nutrition and feeding programs. The Colorado advocates are part of You’re the Cure, the national grassroots network of the American Heart Association, a global force for longer, healthier lives.
These four volunteers shared their personal experiences with elected officials about why the farm bill is so important to them:
- Tessa Cushman, food security specialist at Adams County Health Department
- Laura Gonzalez, Colorado high school student and American Heart Association volunteer
- Michael Ruddock, public health policy & public affairs senior analyst, Adams County Health Department
- Laura Seguro, Colorado mom and American Heart Association volunteer
For more than 50 years, SNAP has played a crucial role in addressing hunger and poverty, but in its current form, it does not address nutrition security, despite growing public support. The American Heart Association is proud to work with elected officials and advocates to build upon this success by investing in ways to improve access to healthy food and the nutritional quality of food.
Interested in becoming an advocate? Join You’re the Cure today by texting Eric to 46839 or by visiting https://www.yourethecure.org/join.