Stuart Berlow, Government Relations Director in the AHA Arlington office, has been quite busy in both DC and Greater Washington!
On April 18, the Montgomery County Council voted unanimously 9-0 to approve a healthy vending policy. This law will ensure that 50% of all food and beverage items in vending machines on County property meet AHA nutrition guidelines. Passage of the legislation followed a February 28 Council hearing at which several AHA volunteers testified. AHA’s vending campaign in Maryland’s largest county (2nd largest county in the Greater Washington Region) received a significant amount of media coverage. You can visit those links here, here, and here!
Additionally, on April 19 the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission voted to ratify a healthy vending Resolution first approved in March. This action extends the healthy vending policy to all parks in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, covering 2 million residents.
With enactment of their law, Montgomery County joins other MAA jurisdictions including Washington DC, Baltimore City, Mecklenburg County, and Columbia SC, who have adopted healthy vending policies.
Similar legislation was introduced in the Prince George’s, MD Council on March 28; a committee hearing was held on June 8, at which several AHA volunteers, including Dionne Bush and Gail Harris Berry testified. We anticipate the bill to move through the Prince George’s County Council throughout June and July. Additionally, AHA is also supporting a healthy vending initiative in Charles County, MD.
A big congrats to our advocates in these communities on the advancements made to make the healthy choice the easier choice!