Throughout the year, our blog will feature AHA volunteer stories of survival and hope. We know there are thousands of stories like these - thats why we want to say “Thanks” to all of you for giving your time and sharing your lives with us. You can’t spell CURE without U! Thank you for all you do to build healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke. YOU’RE THE CURE!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Minnesota You’re the Cure Advocates Talk Fresh Fruits and Vegetables on Capitol Hill

On Wednesday May 17, You’re the Cure advocates from six key states (CO, KS, MN, NE, OR, and TX) flew to Washington D.C. to urge their Members of Congress protect the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP).  Advocates Jo DeBruycker and Annette Derouin represented Minnesota.

The FFVP provides snacks of fresh fruit and vegetables to elementary school students in low-income schools across the country, increasing access to and consumption of fresh produce.  As Congress reauthorizes the 2012 Farm Bill, the program faces threats.

Advocates attended an afternoon of issue training and legislative meeting practice to prepare them for their day on Capitol Hill, where they met with Senators, Representatives, and staff.   

Additionally advocates participated in a congressional briefing, The Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Program: A Win for Agriculture, Children, Schools, Families and Public Health, where they shared firsthand experience with implementing the program in their schools. 

Annette, Director of Food and Nutrition Services, Willmar Public Schools in Willmar, MN, noted how the FFVP is transforming her elementary students into fruit and vegetable lovers, recalling how the students applaud and yell out “thank you” when the fresh fruit and vegetable snacks are delivered to their classrooms every day.

Jo recapped the meetings with Minnesota legislators Representative Colin Peterson and Senators Klobuchar and Franken, saying “we felt all visit were effective and bringing our local stories to D.C. has impact on all three offices.”

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