This week, the Step One Foods team, together with Chief Koering of the St. Louis Park Fire Department, hit the pavement in our nation’s Capitol. And we do mean hit the pavement. Logging our steps, we walked on average 7 miles per day on Capitol Hill as we moved between representatives’ offices in the House and Senate Buildings.
The experience was fascinating. And rewarding.
We had the opportunity to present to the Congressional Wellness Caucus, an event attended by members of multiple legislators’ offices from both sides of the aisle.
And we were able to meet personally with Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut and Rep. Jackie Walorski of Indiana. We met with staffers from the Minnesota delegation including Sen. Franken and Reps. Betty McCollum, Tom Emmer, Tim Walz and Erik Paulsen.
We had a chance to introduce the work of Step One Foods to senior staff on the Senate Agriculture Committee as well as the Centers for Disease Control and American College of Preventive Medicine. We talked with the International Association of Firefighters. It was a busy 48 hours.
To each of these groups, our message was the same. To really impact health, you have to address the drivers of chronic disease, most of which are diet related. And that health can improve quickly when people are given the right tools to help improve their nutrition. Our Firefighter demonstration project and the experiences many of you have shared with us resonated with the legislators and are opening doors to support for our efforts to change the way the medical system currently approaches health and healing.
We saw firsthand how complex the legislative system is. (Appropriations bills were being voted on while we were there.) But we left Washington knowing that we introduced many stakeholders to the idea that medical treatment could be much, MUCH more than just prescribing another pill.