White House sets hunger conference for Sept. 28 – August 30, 2022

(AG Insider) The Biden administration on Monday set a date of Sept. 28 for the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in Washington, D.C. The conference will be the first of its kind in more than 50 years.

“Millions of Americans are afflicted with food insecurity and diet-related diseases — including heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes — which are some of the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S. Lack of access to healthy and affordable foods is one of many factors impacting hunger and diet-related diseases. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these challenges further,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.

The conference will bring government leaders, academics, activists, and others to achieve the goal of ending hunger and reducing diet-related diseases in the U.S. by 2030 — all while reducing disparities among the communities that are affected the most by these issues, the statement said. “We will announce a national strategy at the Conference that identifies actions the government will take to catalyze the public and private sectors to drive transformative change and address the intersections between food, hunger, nutrition, and health,” it said.

The conference comes at a time when at least one in 10 Americans is food insecure, and when more than 10 percent of the population has diabetes — with African Americans, Native Americans, and Latinos disproportionately affected on both counts.

More than 41 million Americans receive SNAP benefits, and most households that get SNAP are families with children, disabled people, or the elderly.

In recent months, as food prices have continued to rise and pandemic aid has begun to be withdrawn, many food banks are reporting increased demand and say that the need for food assistance remains well above pre-pandemic levels.

Last week, a broad group of advocates and academics called for “radical systemic changes” in order to address food insecurity, diet-related disease and health inequities.

In a report, the Task Force on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health proposed a large expansion of federal nutrition programs, the acceleration and coordination of nutrition science research, support for small and mid-sized farmers growing healthy foods and a greater emphasis on nutrition education and preventing diet-related disease.

For the sequel to a 1969 conference that shaped anti-hunger and nutrition policy for decades, the Biden administration asked for feedback from the public, and a number of organizations and industry groups have publicly released recommendations for the conference in recent weeks.

Bookmark the permalink.