Voluntary Policy WRIT LARGE

Photo from the Los Angeles Times

For those of you who have been through one of the Center’s policy or strategy chart trainings, you may have noticed that we have a love/hate relationship with voluntary policies, especially with smoke free housing campaigns. We recognize that when owners of businesses, or public agencies take first steps to control smoking or food and beverage offerings, it’s a good thing. But, we also know that it is a dead end unless it is part of a strategy leading to campaigns to pass public policy through city councils, county boards, school boards or other public agencies.

Public policy establishes new rules of the game, new social norms. Public policy changes individual behavior better than any other intervention we know of. So now comes a voluntary collaboration between several of the largest schools districts in the nation which matches, and may even exceed, the potential impact of a federal law mandating a uniform upgrading of what food is served to our children at school.

School districts in L.A., New York, Chicago, Dallas, Miami and Orlando, Fla., plan to announce Thursday efforts to use their collective clout — 2.5 million daily meals served and $530 million annually spent — to make wholesome food a national standard – Read more in the Los Angeles Times here

Wow! Now that’s a voluntary collaboration and policy change we can all support.

–Jack Nicholl


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