After an intense, yearlong effort supported by You’re the Cure advocates, the Prince George’s, MD County Council unanimously approved Healthy Vending legislation on July 18, with a 9-0 vote! The bill now goes to County Executive Rushern Baker for signature.
This policy, which has previously been enacted in Washington, DC and Montgomery County, ensures that half of food and beverage items in vending machines on county property meet American Heart Association nutrition guidelines. This means healthier options and choices for all residents of Prince George’s County.
As always, You’re the Cure advocates and volunteers made a significant impact on the success of this campaign. Longtime advocate and Prince George’s County resident Gail Harris-Berry represented the AHA at the hearing as she delivered powerful personal testimony about her battle with heart disease. She explained to the Council the importance of giving residents healthy options to choose from so that they might live healthier lives. Gail is overjoyed at the law’s health benefits: “I'm excited because of its potential of reducing chronic health issues and cardiovascular related deaths, especially in the county where I reside!”
Volunteers weren’t the only ones who passionately testified at the hearing. Many Council members expressed why they voted for the bill, explaining how they recognized that passage of the bill would truly improve the health of the people they represent. “I think this legislation became incredibly personal to so many people in the county,” said Councilmember and bill sponsor Dannielle Glaros. “I was incredibly honored to move this legislation forward. It’s a great day for Prince George’s County and it matters for the lives of our residents.”
Now that Prince George’s has joined Montgomery County, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, and Washington DC, approximately 2.7 million Greater Washington Region residents are covered by healthy vending laws, along with millions more throughout the Mid-Atlantic and the nation.
Thank you to each of our You’re the Cure volunteers who took action, and supported the campaign to bring more healthy options to Prince George’s County. It couldn’t have happened without you!