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COUNCIL VICE-CHAIR WALA BLEGAY SEEKS TO SUPPORT RESTAURANT OWNERS OFFERING HEALTHIER FOODS IN PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY
During Council session on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, Prince George’s County Council Vice-Chair Wala Blegay, Esq. (District 6) introduced Council Bill-046-2023, an Act to establish a voluntary healthy restaurant program. If enacted, the Prince George’s County Government would support businesses that apply and offer foods deemed “healthy” by a Health Department registered dietician. County support would be offered in the form of promotions, grants, loans, and other incentives. Promotions would include publicity, advertising, marketing, and signage promoting the restaurants under the Healthy Restaurant Program.
Council Vice Chair Blegay says restaurants in the County need more healthy options. “There are very limited healthy restaurant options throughout communities in Prince George’s County, and our shopping centers are filled with many fast food options, which can lead to chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. This legislation is intended to provide more healthy food options in our restaurants and help consumers in our community live a healthier life.”
Restaurants, as a condition of participating in this program, would have to offer at least one or more healthy food options, distinguish their healthy food options on the menu from non-healthy food options, and display them prominently near the point of ordering.
Furthermore, restaurants would participate in periodic program promotions and celebrations such as the annual Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week, the Maryland Restaurant Week, and/or other such events.
Under the proposed legislation, the Health Department would set up a website with information about the healthy restaurants under this program, links to menus, and nutrition information. The Health Department would also perform outreach and marketing support by:
Other assistance would be provided by the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation, including zero interest loans for the restaurants certified under the Program.
In terms of promotions, the County would:
According to the Prince George’s Department of Health, one out of every three American adults are living with pre-diabetes. Being overweight and obese are risk factors for pre-diabetes and can lead to type 2 diabetes. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention an estimated 70% of adults in Prince George’s County and the United States, in general, are classified as overweight.
District 7 Council Member Krystal Oriadha is also a proposer of CB-046-2023, which has been referred to the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy (GOFP) committee for legislative review. To learn more about the Prince George’s Council People’s Agenda, visit The People's Agenda | Prince George's County Legislative Branch, MD (pgccouncil.us)