This is a guest post from Susan Daugherty-Rodriguez of MANNA and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Center.
Earlier this week, President Obama signed the food safety bill into law enacting the largest change to the country’s food safety laws in the last 70 years. This marks a victory, or at least a step in the right direction, for those Americans who have been lobbying for greater responsibility and regulation of the food industry.
As a non-profit, whose focus is food and nutrition, MANNA supports a more vigilant government regulation of food safety. Food safety is at the forefront of our daily operation and this legislation adds a layer of protection for our clients who are battling life threatening illnesses. MANNA believes in the power of food as medicine especially for our clients who often have compromised immune systems.
Our clients are nutritionally depleted; battling life threatening illnesses and any complication can have dire effects on their heath, treatment, and ultimately their life. This is why food safety has always been an organization priority – from menu selection to staff credentialed in the most current food safety practices and the meticulous training of volunteers who adhere to these standards.
One of the greatest impacts we see this policy change having is on our clients continued strides towards recovery. The weekly meals that we are able to provide are only temporary.
It is MANNA’s goal for clients to achieve nutritional health and no longer be in need of our services. All the steps taken to ensure that the food reaching these critically ill patients is not only nutritious but safe and is only controlled while clients are on our program. It is when clients are well enough to begin preparing their own meals and shopping for them selves that we believe President Obama’s new law will provide this much needed layer of protection.
Protection that people, like our clients, with already compromised immune system due to chemotherapy, dialysis, HIV/AIDS, or any other numerous life-threatening illnesses have the right to count on.
Susan Daugherty-Rodriguez is a member of the senior management team of MANNA, a non-profit that provides specialized services to people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-threatening illness. As program administrator, Sue oversees operations including distribution, kitchen, volunteer and nutrition departments.
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