Site Visit to Cherry Street Food Bank with Congressman Adam Smith
By Bonnie Fritz, RD
On Friday 9/16 I had the opportunity to represent PHSKC and the WIC program in a meeting with Congressman Smith at the Cherry Hill Food Bank. The purpose of the meeting was to allow the congressman the opportunity to interact with food bank customers applying for SNAP benefits and observe the food bank operations. The line was long as he arrived at 9am and we were able to educate him why the federal SNAP program is vital to our families well-being and how they depend on it. Cuts to the SNAP program would be devastating. One man kindly approached us as we were talking and eloquently expressed his gratitude for the help the food programs have done for him on his journey to a better life. He said it all!
Sequestration has put the WIC program in a position of great uncertainty. I was able to let him know how WIC works with our community partners and advocate specifically for the Peer Counselor program because they are currently not funded in the House version of the 2014 funding bill. He tucked Leahla’s brochure in his pocket. I also emphasized the positive impact of WIC foods on the decline of low income children in WA.
It was a valuable experience to show Congressman Smith the frontline work we do every day; he was impressed.
A big thanks to Northwest Harvest and the Anti-Hunger & Nutrition Coalition for organizing the meeting and inviting us to participate. A special note; Every thing I learned about advocacy, I learned through Nutrition First. It takes a village!