July 6, 2017
By: Christine Benson
As a dietitian, have you ever wondered how you can get more involved in policy and advocacy to support important nutrition and health issues? Check out this list of practical ways that you can take meaningful action on those matters on the local, state, and national levels!
- Examples: read the news; sign up for newsletters with relevant organizations
- Pros: be informed about issues that could affect you, your business and your clients
- Examples: participate in action alerts; share on social media; tell your friends!
- Pros: help raise awareness and build support for issues that matter to you and the profession
Volunteer with an existing program in your community (local)
- Examples: food bank, food pantry, or soup kitchen; farmer’s market SNAP program; gleaning program; schools; civic organizations
- Pros: learn about what’s happening at the local level; network; help others
Start a new program in your community (local)
- Examples: community garden or school garden; gleaning program; grocery store tours; cooking classes
- Pros: create greater access to and knowledge of food and nutrition; build leadership skills; increase access to healthy foods
Join a board or political organization (local, state)
- Examples: school board; government board or committee (i.e. board of public health); non-profit; neighborhood association; health or nutrition coalition
- Pros: Networking; professional development
Get Involved (local, state, national)
- Examples: attend a town meeting, public hearing, or advocacy day; volunteer on a campaign; provide expert commentary or testimony
- Pros: Learn about important issues that affect you, your business and your clients; learn about the political system and how you can make an impact
Meet your officials (local, state, national)
- Examples: schedule a visit with your local, state or federal legislators; host a site visit for government officials; offer to assist with researching or drafting policy
- Pros: Increase awareness of and advocate for the profession and your role or business
Start a movement (local, state, national)
- Examples: start a petition; organize for a cause
- Pros: advocate for issues you care about; build leadership skills
Be the Change (local, state, national)
- Examples: run for a government office or position; propose a new policy (see ALEC.org for model policies); offer to serve as an expert for your local government on nutrition-related issues
- Pros: professional development; make a direct impact
Ready to take action now? Go to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Advocacy: Action Center at www.eatrightpro.org and take action on the legislative alerts with just a few simple clicks! Watch and share our video below to help others learn how to get more involved in policy and advocacy, too! We'd love to hear how you are or how you plan to get involved in policy and advocacy, so please leave us a comment below!
Thank you, Christine Benson - DIFM Policy Advocacy Committee Member, for creating this helpful list!