June 12, 2017 - Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) - San Antonio Stars
Ruth Riley - general manager for the WNBA team the San Antonio Stars, former WNBA All-Star, NCAA and WNBA Champion, and Olympic gold medalist - has just joined the board of directors of Hunger Free America, a national advocacy and direct service non-profit organization. Riley received federal SNAP (food stamps) and school meal benefits as a child, and vividly recounted the importance of such aid in her success during testimony she delivered to a congressional committee in 2015.
Said Riley: "I am excited to help Hunger Free America ramp up the fight to end hunger in America. This is an issue that I am deeply passionate about, and one that hits home on a very personal level. As a kid, I had limited knowledge of the food stamps my mom obtained or that the schools meals I was eating were paid for by the federal government, but I just knew that, somehow, when we needed it, there was always food. Because I had this food, I was able to learn and focus in school, which ultimately led me to graduate with honors from the University of Notre Dame. It also fueled my real passion, basketball. I'm grateful and proud of the success I've had in winning championships at the collegiate, professional, and Olympic levels. I often joke that growing up I was tall, lanky and uncoordinated. Looking back, I can't imagine what my path would have been if I'd been tall, lanky, uncoordinated...and hungry. When times were tough, the nutrition I received through programs like food stamps and school meals helped me grow stronger."
"It is our privilege and honor to welcome Ruth Riley to our Board of Directors," said Christopher Karagheuzoff, Chair of the Hunger Free America's Board and a partner at the international corporate law firm of Dorsey & Whitney. "Ruth's impressive background and experience speaks for itself and is a tremendous asset to HFA. Moreover, as someone who grew up in poverty and depended upon federal food safety net programs as a child, Ruth brings with her not just an understanding of - but firsthand experience with - the nature of HFA's mission. That is invaluable, and makes her especially well-poised to help HFA in its fight to finally end hunger in America."
Said Hunger Free America CEO Joel Berg, "Ruth Riley's life exemplifies how federal nutrition assistance programs have enabled millions of Americans to lead highly successful lives. We are thrilled to have such an inspiring champion and leader on our board to help build the movement to ensure all Americans always have enough to eat."
Hunger Free America is building a nonpartisan, grass-roots movement to enact the policies and programs needed to end domestic hunger and ensure that all Americans have sufficient access to nutritious food. Concerned Americans can volunteer or donate through the web site www.hungerfreeamerica.org .