Local volunteer advocates in the nation’s capital today to meet with Arkansas congressmen on food and nutrition programs

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 25, 2023 – Sophe Sligh, a nurse at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, and Cori Keller, a client services account coordinator with advertising agency CJRW in Little Rock, is with heart disease and stroke patients, survivors, caregivers, health care providers and other advocates from across the country in Washington today 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.

Sligh, Keller and other volunteers are urging 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 Sligh, of Conway. As a You’re the Cure advocate, she most recently attended the White House Challenge to End Hunger and Build Healthy Communities Kickoff in Washington.

“[SNAP] plays a crucial role in addressing hunger and poverty, but the program must be improved to focus on diet quality and nutrition,” added Sligh. “Making changes to the SNAP program could lead to a spillover effect that improves diet quality for everyone.”

Keller, of Sherwood, has organized and participated in COVID-19 food release programs and food drives across Arkansas and is also an advocate for Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance.

“Programs like SNAP play an important role in addressing food insecurity and mitigating poverty,” said Keller. “We must build upon this success and invest in policies that will also improve access to healthy, the nutritional quality of food, diet quality and ultimately the health of everybody.”

Sligh and Keller’s schedule today is as follows:

  • Meeting with U.S. Rep Bruce Westerman – 10:30 a.m. ET in Room CHOB-202
  • Meeting with U.S. Sen. John Boozman – 11:30 a.m.ET in Room SD-555
  • Meeting with U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton – 12 p.m. ET -VIRTUAL meeting
  • Meeting with U.S. Rep. French Hill – 1:30 p.m. ET in Room LHOB-1533

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.

“We are fortunate to have Sophe and Cori in Washington today to share their personal stories with our elected representatives and put a face to the importance of this legislation,” said American Heart Association Sr. Region Grassroots Lead Allison Hogue. “We hope the passion Sophe and Cori bring to Capitol Hill will move our lawmakers to support public policies that lead to longer, healthier lives.”

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About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook or Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1. 

For Media Inquiries

Cyd King: M 479.263.8473; cyd.king@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and stroke.org

 

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