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The Association of Retail and Consumer Professionals

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By Stephanie Schultz, RD Ambassador to the RDBA

What Worked? What Didn’t? What’s Next? That is the title of the World Health Organization (WHO) report released last week to summarize what progress has been made toward the Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All (SDG3 GAP). The report reflects four years of joint work by major multilateral agencies outlining what has and has not worked in strengthening collaboration and support to accelerate progress towards health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Global Action Plan obviously focuses on efforts at the global level; however, a key takeaway is one that resonates with the current landscape and opportunities for retailers (and retail dietitians) as it relates to the Food is Medicine discussion. In short, the WHO news release highlighted that collaborating locally is key for progress towards health-related goals. True progress requires partnerships between governments, the private sector, and civil society. The Sustainable Development Goals, like any collaboration, can only be realized with a strong commitment to partnership and cooperation.

In March, as a continuation of the work started at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, the Biden-Harris Administration launched the White House Challenge to End Hunger and Build Healthy Communities, a nationwide call-to-action to stakeholders across all of society to make bold commitments to advance the goal to end hunger and reduce diet-related diseases by 2030. There are five pillars of the National Strategy, and retail grocers and their dietitians – who are at the center of the community –  can and should be partners.

Grocery chains large and small have already stepped up. If you haven’t yet, now is a great time to share opportunities and build a business case to show your retailers’ leadership team how you can become a key local partner in building healthier communities. Explain how your retailer can be a part of the Food is Medicine pyramid from prevention to treatment. Encourage them to step up to the challenge.

Opening speaker at the Food as Medicine Summit, happening in Chicago this week, and Senior Advisor for Public Engagement at The White House, Will McIntee, shared ways to “use the current partnerships to inspire your employer…” via this call to action. You can participate by going to this website and submitting a commitment interest form. To participate in the challenge, organizations and communities are encouraged to make commitments in one or more areas across the five pillars of the National Strategy.

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