Winter Greetings, MAND members! I hope your 2016 is off to a great start.
Lots is going on in the food and nutrition policy arena: the release of the new Dietary Guidelines and the passing of the Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill by the Senate, for example. In Maine, the Food Recovery Act and Mainers Feeding Mainers have been in the news. Have you thought about how these policies and activities impact your role as a dietetic professional? Have you considered how you and/or your organization can be more involved in addressing these issues, or partnering with others that are actively engaged to help influence the outcomes?
I encourage members to make their opinions on nutrition and food-related public policy issues and activities known. Do not shy away from controversial statements. Instead, continue to advocate for core principles that promote optimal nutrition and acknowledge the evolution of the scientific recommendations. Our views, as trained nutrition professionals, count, and the public wants to hear what we have to say. MAND’s mission and values illustrate our commitment to our members to engage in a wide range of practices to promote healthy outcomes, while adhering to research-based reviews and recommendations.
If you need some public policy inspiration, I invite you to take part in MAND’s 2016 Legislative Day, on March 24, 2016, 7 – 9am at the Senator Inn in Augusta. There will be a short presentation, time to mingle and chat with colleagues and legislators and the presentation of our very first MAND Public Policy Leadership Award. Please plan to join us (member invites will be emailed very soon).
In addition, preparations have begun for our 2016 Spring Conference, which will take place on April 29, 2016, at the Maine General Alfond Center in Augusta (tentatively 8 am to noon). More information on this meeting will be coming soon, but as in years past, this event and associated CPEUs, are 100% FREE for current MAND members.
Dave Seddon, MBA, RD, LD
2015-2016 MAND President