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The Nutrition First contingent with Senator Patty Murray

The Nutrition First contingent with Senator Patty Murray

Thank you, Nutrition First, for sponsoring me to attend the 23rd Annual NWA Leadership Conference in Washington, DC through the scholarship program! I had the opportunity to travel with our fearless leader, Kristen Rezabek, to DC from March 2-6 just in time to talk to our legislators about the negative impacts sequestration would have to the Washington WIC program. Tiffany Schamber, NF member from Spokane Regional Health District, and her 14 year old daughter also joined us on the Hill.

The Capitol was buzzing with sequestration news! We met with the NWA folks on Sunday for legislative updates and were given materials specific handouts and bold WIC buttons with “WIC Works” messages. Monday and Tuesday we had arranged meetings with all 10 districts and both senators offices to meet with aides and share our message about how WIC helps families, economy, health (no need to preach to the choir…) and that any cuts are unacceptable. Kristen was able to advocate for specifics since she can lobby while Tiffany and I could educate them about the program and share client stories. Our highlight was spotting Senator Murray underneath the Capitol on the train platform – we grabbed a very quick photo!

Since we’ve been back, we just heard good news that the “Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013 passed the Senate and House and WIC is likely to Avoid Cutting Participants” (see NWA website for updates). This is good news, for now… but we are always in need of telling our client stories. They are the most powerful tool that we have to reach out and make our voices heard. I encourage each of you to call, write or email your legislators both at the state and national level. Click here to find your legislators contact info. Nutrition First and its sister programs such as Children’s Alliance, Anti-Hunger Nutrition Coalition, can assist you with messaging and being a part of the movement to END HUNGER.

Thanks again, for the opportunity to travel to DC and be a part of Nutrition First. I joined the board because I wanted to learn more about how to advocate for my clients in 2008… it worked!

Respectfully submitted by Bonnie Fritz 3/22/13.