May 26, 2022

White House to hold conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health

White House to hold conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health

By: Sydney Sheffield 

For the first time in more than 50 years, The United States White House announced it will hold a conference on hunger, nutrition, and health. This conference comes as The White House has expressed its commitment to end hunger, improve nutrition and physical activity, reduce diet-related diseases, and close disparity gaps by 2030. In the fall, public and private sectors will have the opportunity to come together to develop a coordinated, whole-of-government strategy to accelerate progress and drive significant change.

“For our country and our children to reach their highest potential, we must not only keep food on the table but also aim for everyone to enjoy nutritious and affordable food that contributes to their overall health. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to tackling both food and nutrition insecurity in order to prevent the diet-related diseases that plague our country, address health disparities in underserved communities, and give all Americans a chance for a healthy future,” said the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

The last time the White House hosted a conference on food insecurity was when President Richard Nixon hosted the White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Health in 1969. That conference has historical significance within the nutrition community, as it led to expansions of the food stamp program and the school lunch program, the creation of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and improved nutrition labeling. The goal of the 2022 conference is to develop a plan to help reduce rates of diabetes, obesity, and hypertension among Americans and accelerate efforts to end hunger across the nation.

President Joe Biden released a statement via video announcing the conference. "Too many families don't know where they're going to get their next meal," Biden said. "Too many empty chairs around the kitchen table because a loved one was taken by heart disease, diabetes or other diet-oriented diseases, which are some of the leading causes of death in our country." Congress has approved $2.5 million for the event. 

“The White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health will help drive the transformative solutions we seek to enact in the Biden-Harris Administration through a whole-of-government effort and alongside public and private stakeholders,” Vilsack continued. “The U.S. Department of Agriculture is proud to be a partner as we work together toward the admirable goal of ending hunger and increasing healthy eating by 2030.”

The White House will host listening session prior to the conference to gain knowledge and listen to stories from around the country. More information regarding these sessions is pending. Check here for more information and updates.