Seven advocates represented the Southwest Region in Washington, D.C., in May to ask their elected representatives to support nutrition and food security programs in the 2023 farm bill.
The advocates are part of You’re The Cure, the national grassroots network of the American Heart Association, a global force for longer, healthier lives.
Monica Sotelo of New Mexico, Laura Gonzalez, Laura Segura, Michael Ruddock and Tessa Cushman of Colorado and Sophe Sligh and Cori Keller of Arkansas urged their congressmen to support efforts to address diet quality and environmental sustainability in the 2023 farm bill, including supporting steps forward to improve diet quality in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a key component of the bill.
“For more than 50 years, SNAP has been vital in tackling food insecurity in the U.S.,” said Sotelo, who has received SNAP benefits on and off for years. She said she believes there’s room for change within the program.
“Eating healthy comes at a higher cost,” she added. “We just need to make it possible for people who really need the help to get it.”
The farm bill, which is scheduled to be reauthorized by Congress this year, has enormous influence over the food available to millions of people across the country. Essential anti-hunger and nutrition programs are projected to constitute more than four-fifths of the full cost of the legislation, including SNAP, the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentives Program and other crucial programs.
Additionally, Sotelo, Gonzalez and Seguro attended a discussion at the White House to share their experiences with the administration.