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LETTER: A parent's worst fear


A parent’s worst fear is their child becoming ill.

For me this fear became a reality for my daughter when she faced health issues as a young child. She had trouble gaining
weight and I was forced to find ways to support her specific nutritional needs.

Luckily, I was not alone during this time, as the support we were given through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
Program (SNAP) allowed me to not have to choose between paying medical bills and being able to afford food.

For more than 50 years, SNAP has played a crucial role in addressing hunger and poverty. But I have seen firsthand that
fruits and vegetables are a lot more expensive than chips and soda and eating healthy food can help prevent future health
problems. That’s why we need to build on the proven success of SNAP to improve it to address nutrition security.

Having faced these challenges myself, I joined fellow American Heart Association advocates and volunteers in
Washington, D.C. to share our experiences with our elected officials in Congress and urged them to keep funding for SNAP
strong in the 2023 farm bill. We also shared ways to change programs like SNAP so it can improve diet quality for people
across the country.

SNAP has been a valuable resource for my family and so many others, but it has room for improvement. I hope my
Members of Congress will prioritize and modernize this program in the farm bill to address diet quality so that everyone,
everywhere has the opportunity to live a longer, healthier life.

Monica Sotelo