Did you know that there are many ways to get involved in public policy when it comes to nutrition?
Many people this election cycle found that they desire to become more involved in their local governments and communities between major elections. While much debate can happen surrounding political issues, the right to clean, safe food and water is a basic human right. There is much we can do to make sure that those in our immediate communities and beyond are not going hungry. So, how can you get involved? I recommend the following three ways:
Sign up for action alerts from organizations that follow and advocate pro-nutrition policies. This is an easy and accessible way to get alerted to current issues. Many organizations can send these alerts to your email or phone.
Learn how to contact your local legislators. This is an important one, and it often seems more intimidating than it is. Patients & Providers for Medical Nutrition Therapy has a wonderful online resource that can help you customize a letter to your local representatives. Develop a clear and concise strategy, and understand how tips and templates can improve how you convey your message.
Participate in an action committee. You don't have to wait to take action. Learn about how to form an action committee or join an existing group in your area. There is a lot of potential and power for change when collaborative efforts bring awareness to important issues.
Interested in learning more? The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics releases public policy press releases to make the public and media more aware of issues related to nutrition, such as government assistance programs like SNAP (formerly food stamps). Following these as well as current legislation can help you learn more about state and federal issues, and how to get more involved. This includes vital acts and policies, such as breastfeeding in the workplace, that increase access to healthy nutrition.
Other information on legislation and policy is available from the following sources:
USDA Legislation and Policy
GovTrack Nutrition and Health (lists bills in Congress related to food and health topics)
School Nutrition Association Legislation and Policy & Federal Legislation and Rules (includes a link to contact your legislators)
Beginner's Guide to Advocacy (from the American Nutrition Association)
Nutrition is truly an issue that everyone can support. If you have any questions at all on how to become more involved in public policy or how to get involved in your local area, please reach out to me by using email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.