Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Policy Point Wednesday - Nutrition Support Gains Local Momentum

I've written quite a bit on this blog about Federal nutrition support programs - but nutrition support doesn't have to stop there!  I recently read about a local foods initiative in the District of Colombia - the local governing body unanimously approved the Healthy Schools Act to promote better foods in DC area schools while FUNDING farm-to-school incentives at five cents per meal.  The buck doesn't have to stop at the White House!

The District of Columbia has become a model on how best to leverage and improve upon Federal nutrition support.  DC Hunger Solutions, an initiative of the Food Action Research Center, uses a three-pronged approach: finding local policy and legislative solutions, working to maximize participation in federal programs, and educating the public on the realities of food insecurity.  It is this umbrella that has brought initiatives, some previously discussed on this blog: the Healthy Corner Store, the Farmer's Market Collaborative, and advocating for improved wellness policies in DC Schools.

How can an individual citizen get this momentum going?  Start at the local level, contact your municipal representatives and ask what they're doing to leverage and support nutrition assistance programs - then ask them to advocate for State support!  Government doesn't make change unless citizens call for it; raising your voice to support those in need is critical, especially during times of economic hardship.

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