The White House announced that for the first time in over 50 years, it will host a Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health.
The Conference will focus on addressing five main issues: ending hunger, improving nutrition, improving physical activity, reducing diet-related illnesses, and closing disparity gaps by 2030.
“We’ll bring together anti-hunger and nutrition advocates, food companies, local and state governments, and tribal and territory communities to lay out our plan to combat hunger and improve nutrition for every American,” President Biden states in his announcement.
The Conference will entail a series of virtual, regional listening sessions leading up to an event in D.C. in September 2022. At the event, the White House and Congress will announce a roadmap to address the five issue areas needed to address hunger and inequity in the United States.
Held more than 50 years ago, the first White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Health transformed the U.S. food policy agenda. The Conference resulted in an expansion of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the National School Lunch Program, as well as the establishment of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
“The COVID-19 pandemic put a spotlight on the urgency of addressing these issues. No one should have to wonder where their next meal will come from,” says Susan E. Rice, Domestic Policy Advisor, in the White House’s announcement.
Advocacy organizations including The Alliance to End Hunger consider the announcement a win. They, alongside 180 other organizations, called on the White House to reinstate the Conference.
“The past two years have shone a light on the gaps and vulnerabilities of food security and nutrition programs in this country,” Eric Mitchell, Executive Director of the Alliance to End Hunger states. “This announcement provides reassurance that hunger and malnutrition are not only priorities for this administration, but also underscore our nation’s commitment to investing in our society’s health and wellbeing.”
The White House is currently working on creating a submission portal for ideas. Updates on the conference will be posted on the White House website.
Articles like the one you just read are made possible through the generosity of Food Tank members. Can we please count on you to be part of our growing movement? Become a member today by clicking here.
Photo courtesy of Ana Lanza, Unsplash