Local Advocacy

Food, nutrition and health policy is an issue not only for the federal government. In fact, state governments play a vital role in creating and implementing policies that serve and protect the public.

States may inspect or certify some food and food products; administer programs that provide food assistance and nutrition education to individuals and families; establish educational standards for schools; administer public health programs; regulate nursing homes; and oversee insurance programs and help provide coverage for many.

Additionally, states license health care and other service providers, including dietetics professionals, to assure the public that individuals providing health and personal services have met education, experience and examination requirements.

Today, state governments are facing one of the worst budget crunches in history. Forty-five of 50 states are projected to go into deficit spending in the next fiscal year, even though most of them have laws or constitutions prohibiting outlays exceeding revenues. Throughout the United States, legislatures are examining many state programs to reduce a build-up of deficits. Balancing fiscal responsibility with the public's needs for safe and affordable food, education and access to quality health care poses difficult choices for lawmakers across the country.