Asking the Government to Put Its Best Fork Forward

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Every March we celebrate National Nutrition Month and the importance of nutrition education. It is just as important to make sure that we get community leaders involved in spreading our message. After reading about ways to get involved last year, I decided to reach out to my local government for a proclamation to declare March 2016 as National Nutrition Month. I sent an email to the Office of the Mayor of Philadelphia, Jim Kenney, asking for the proclamation and explaining the importance of National Nutrition Month. Mayor Kenney has long stood for education and healthy living, so I was pleased to hear that he approved my proclamation request.

I decided to ask for a proclamation again this year by following the same steps. This year’s theme, “Put Your Best Fork Forward,” made me think about the importance of a proclamation from the city. Each of us holds the tool to make healthier food choices, and I think it is important to have a government that recognizes that.  Mayor Kenney has also been an advocate for proper nutrition and healthy kids during his tenure, so having him declare March 2017 National Nutrition Month is not only an honor, but an important reminder to the city of Philadelphia that our leader cares about his citizens.

Why should you care? Because having your government involved with National Nutrition Month is how we get an entire population to at least start thinking about mindful eating and healthier lifestyles.

So how do you go about getting a proclamation? Most municipalities and states have direct links on the mayor or governor’s websites for proclamation requests. Some requests you can fill out directly on the site, while others give you the email of someone to contact. Tip: make sure you request a proclamation as soon as you can! This year I submitted for both the state and local proclamations, but didn’t receive confirmation from the state until almost four weeks after I received confirmation from the city. I would recommend that for National Nutrition Month 2018 you request a proclamation no fewer than six weeks before it should take effect — in this case, mid-January, at the latest, for a March proclamation. The offices of your state and/or city should notify you when and if your proclamation is granted.

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EJ Otto
EJ Otto is a graduate of LaSalle University with a BSN in Nutrition, and an Ingredient Regulatory Technical Writer for Campbell's Soup Company.