United States President Joseph R. Biden Jr. will host the first conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in over 50 years September 28, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement on Monday. The conference, first announced by President Biden in May, will be held in Washington DC.
“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,” wrote White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
Jean-Pierre added, “The Conference will bring government leaders, academics, activists, and Americans from all walks of life together 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 who are impacted the most by these issues. 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’s been more than 50 years since the first and only White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Health was held in 1969. That pivotal event helped galvanize actions that included the creation of life changing programs like school lunches, the Supplemental Feeding Program for Women Infants and Children (WIC), and changes to how we label foods.
The Biden administration believes that the 2022 White House Conference “will catalyze the public and private sectors around a coordinated strategy to accelerate progress and drive transformative change in the U.S. to end hunger, improve nutrition and physical activity, and close the disparities surrounding them.”
Already, members of Congress from across the political spectrum have called for convening a White House Conference, including U.S. Representatives James P. McGovern and the late Jackie Walorski and U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Mike Braun.