May 6, 2019

Featured: Jacqueline Boone Allsup, Maryland State Conference NAACP

The key to Sugar Free Kids Maryland’s success has always been the teamwork of its outstanding member organizations and lead partners. One of the most vital partners has been the Maryland State Conference NAACP.

The tight bond formed due to the fact that the Maryland State Conference NAACP represents communities of color, who continue to face the highest prevalence rates of chronic disease, such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, tooth decay and heart disease.

Jacqueline Boone Allsup, president of the NAACP’s Anne Arundel County branch and health chair of Maryland State Conference has been a driving force behind the partnership. She has testified for Sugar Free Kids Maryland at the state level, explaining why healthy choices are specifically important to communities of color.

Boone Allsup knew as soon as Sugar Free Kids Maryland launched, she wanted to become involved. “This was an opportunity to work together in new ways, establish new partnerships and look at valuable work that may go beyond the scope or role of an individual agency,” said Boone Allsup. “Coalitions can take on a large task and provide a powerful, united voice.”

Prior to her time as an NAACP leader, Boone Allsup worked for 30 years as a health professional for the state of Maryland. She retired as the assistant director of nursing at the Walter B. Carter Center in Baltimore. Boone Allsup was also a Professor of Nursing at Anne Arundel Community College.

Boone Allsup has always felt that the missions of the NAACP’s state conference and Sugar Free Kids have aligned.  “The NAACP health committee has the mission of focusing on optimal health outcomes and access to timely quality and affordable healthcare. We are committed to eliminating racial and ethnic inequities that exist within our healtchcare system. Those inequities tend to undermine communities of color and life opportunities and their ability to contribute fully to the common good.”

She is proud of the fact that Sugar Free Kids Maryland has made a large impact on the health of the state, particularly improving healthy vending choices in seven jurisdictions and passing the Healthy Kids’ Meal Bill in Baltimore last year. “I’m excited about the future of Sugar Free Kids and can’t wait to see where we go next. We’ve made a lot progress.”