The President Biden made the announcement today on on May 4th today, May 4th that President Biden has announced today that White House will host a Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health in September.
In a video that was posted to the White House website, Biden stated that this would mark the inaugural White House conference of this kind since 1969.
Biden added that the senator is determined to take “bold actions” to stop hunger, increase the quality of life and physical activity as well as reduce diseases related to diet and to reduce the gaps around them. Biden encouraged the American people to attend the listening sessions to be held prior to this conference in September.
House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern, D-Mass. He has been pushing presidents for years to convene the first White House conference. In response to McGovern, Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind. and Senators. Cory Booker, D-N.J. as well as Mike Braun, R-Ind. The chair and the ranking member from the Senate Agriculture Food and Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Organics and Research Subcommittee The Congress has granted to the Health and Human Services Department $2.5 million to host the event.
Although nutritionists and those who oppose hunger have backed the conference however, the decision to convene the conference prior to the November elections is the topic of debate. The conference of 1969 was focused on the necessity for Americans to consume more calories, and resulted in modifications in the program for food stamps that is now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program as well as school meals. It also led to creation of Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants and Children and other nutrition programs. Other than WIC and, in the wake of the Obama administration school meals, these programs have not been focused on the nutritional value of food items. The conference this year is expected to include nutritional quality as the main focus that could cause a split between people who advocate against hunger and nutritionists and also agricultural groups, and could hurt Democrats in the upcoming election.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra released statements in a joint news release on the day.
Vilsack stated, “For our country and our children to achieve their full potential We must not just provide food for our families but also strive to ensure that everyone has access to nutritious and inexpensive food options that benefit their overall well-being. Biden-Harris is committed to tackling nutrition and food insecurity to help prevent the dietary-related illnesses which plague our country and to combat health disparities in low-income communities, and provide everyone Americans an opportunity to have an enlightened future. It is expected that the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health will assist in the transformational solutions we are seeking to implement under the Biden-Harris administration by implementing the whole of government effort, and with private and public actors. It is the U.S. Department of Agriculture is honored to join forces as we strive to achieve the noble objective to end hunger, and promoting the amount of healthy food consumed by 2030.”
Becerra stated, “Tackling food insecurity is crucial to improving the health of our nation. Our understanding of the science behind and social determinants that impact the physical and nutritional health of people has advanced over the last five decades and it’s about time that we put more emphasis on nutrition to save lives. As we attend the conference HHS is working in collaboration with federal agenciesis continuing to develop breakthrough discoveries that are connected to fitness and healthy eating and to develop guidance and policies that decrease Type 2 diabetes, obesity and hypertension. Making it easier to access healthy and affordable food choices helps reduce the burden of chronic diseases and assists in improving the health of every one of us Americans.”
In a press release that was released, White House said in its news release: White House said, “The Biden-Harris administration is aiming to achieve the target of ending hunger and promoting physical and healthy eating across the U.S. by 2030 so that less Americans are suffering from diseases related to diet like obesity, diabetes and hypertension. The conference will inspire action from anti-hunger and nutritional advocates, food companies, the health-care community and local states, territorial, and tribal governments; individuals with lived experiences, and everyone else Americans as well as develop a national plan that will outline how we can achieve this target.”
“Hunger or diet-related illness and the varying degrees of their impact have a profound impact on millions of Americans and the COVID-19 epidemic put an emphasis on the necessity of addressing these issues.” Susan Rice, domestic policy adviser, stated in the press release. “No one should need to think about what their next meal will be coming from. We need to take action right now — with the help of private and public sector, non-profits, and communities working together to create a better future for all American.”
Luis Guardia, president of the Food Research & Action Center the most prominent lobbying group for SNAP Today, Luis Guardia, president of the Food Research & Action Center, stated “FRAC is thrilled that, more than 50 years the time has come for an additional White House Conference focused on eliminating the hunger crisis within America.”
Guardia added, “Now is the time to bring together advocates as well as the private sector the state and local U.S. territorial and Tribal governments and those who have lived experiences to the largest national table to consider the best way to leverage the crucial successes and lessons we have learned over the past five decades to strengthen our food security security net and end hunger caused by poverty in America.
“We recognize that federal nutrition programs won’t be enough to eliminate hunger. We require broad-based solutions that tackle the main causes of hunger, like low wages and a lack access to affordable housing in addition to other obstacles. There is no reason why anyone should be forced to choose between meals on their table or other necessities of life.
“FRAC anticipates working with a wide range of people as well as organizations on the state, national and local level in bringing attention to the issue of hunger and the policies that can be implemented.
“This is the reason FRAC encourages broad and different participation at the White House’s next listening sessions in the summer. They are open to the public. Meanwhile, FRAC will work with advocates and people all over the country to tell experiences of the ways that anti-hunger programs and policies have been able to provide the needed nutrition support and are able to be enhanced in the recommendations for the conference through this website. White House website,” Guardia said.
MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger President and CEO Abby Leibman said, “In organizing the White House conference on an problem as widespread and persistent as hunger The Biden administration is taking a crucial step towards lasting policies to stop food insecurity in America. From military families, single mothers and even Tribal countries, causes of hunger are both complex and distinct — so should be their solutions.”
Ty Jones Cox, vice director of food assistance at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities released a string of tweets that praised the decision to host the conference.
Produce for Better Health Foundation President and CEO Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak applauded the announcement, stating, “Nine out of 10 Americans don’t eat enough vegetables and fruits each day . With the federal programs for nutrition and food not sufficiently funded to address this gap PBH believes it is essential to promote the consumption of vegetables and fruits as a top priority for the nation to improve the health of our nation’s population and food security. PBH together with its partners and members are eager to take part with this year’s White House conference to help change the way we consume fruit and vegetables habits through cutting-edge research on consumers; better accessibility for everyone; and practical, inspiring concepts that help create new ways of eating.”
International Fresh Produce Association Vice President of Nutrition and Health Mollie Van Lieu stated, “The last time the White House convened experts on food, nutrition , and health was in 1969. This is two or three generations of consumers from the last national effort to unite to address these important problems. The challenges we face with nutrition have dramatically changed in the past 50 years, with over three-quarters of the population being obese or overweight. We are grateful to for the White House for recognizing the necessity and urgency of addressing nutrition quality, particularly when the consequences of insecurity in nutrition can be so severe. Industry experts in fresh fruits and vegetables have for a long time supported a greater consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables but achieving this requires a bold, coordinated plan and a public-private collaboration. We’re looking forward to bringing the expertise and knowledge of the industry to this effort as it advances.”
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Food Systems for the Future and the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, and World Central Kitchen today announced the creation of the Task Force on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, together with the accompanying Strategy Group on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health to assist the task force.
“The task team brings together a broad and non-partisan panel of participants to guide the agenda that will be the focus of this year’s White House Conference. The task force is not a part of or supported from The White House, but represents an independent initiative to gather representatives from across the country to solve the problems that lie at the center of the conference’s agenda,” the Friedman School announced in a press release.
This initiative is backed by the Bia-Echo Foundation as well as World Central Kitchen.