White House will host first food insecurity conference in 50 years
The last time the White House hosted a conference focused on food insecurity was more than 50 years ago, when President Richard Nixon hosted the White House Conference on Food, Nutrition and Health in 1969. That landmark event led to expansions of the food stamp program and the school lunch program, creation of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, and improved nutrition labeling.
The White House hopes this year’s conference will result in a plan to help reduce rates of diabetes, obesity and hypertension among Americans and accelerate efforts to end hunger across the nation.
“Too many families don’t know where they’re going to get their next meal,” Biden said in a video announcing the conference. “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.”
The pandemic, the President said, was “a stark reminder of the need for urgent, sustained action. As more Americans experienced hunger we saw diet-related diseases heighten the risk of severe Covid. It’s time we make real change.”
“If Ukraine is showing us anything it’s that we take food for granted,” Andrés told CNN. “And the world is about to go hungry because the war is happening in Ukraine.”
“America, the most powerful country in the history of mankind, has the tools to make sure that no children are hungry, that no family should be feeling shame by not being able to feed themselves. The federal government must be here to be the wind behind the sails to move the ship forward,” Andrés said.
Andrés said these types of White House conferences should happen every other year, not every 50. He expressed optimism that real progress could be made on several issues, including ending food deserts and expanding access to nutritious school lunches.
Last month, when Biden signed the package into law, McGovern celebrated the inclusion of the money to host the conference and said it had the potential to be “truly transformational.” The congressman has long been working with his Democratic colleagues to end food insecurity in the country.
“We should all be ashamed that tens of millions of our fellow citizens don’t know where their next meal will come from. America is a land of abundance. We have more than enough to feed everyone. What we lack is the moral vision and political will to act,” McGovern told CNN, saying that will soon change. He credited his mentor, the late former Democratic Sen. George McGovern of South Dakota, with pushing for the first conference in 1969.
Biden’s domestic policy adviser, Susan Rice, said in a statement that “no one should have to wonder where their next meal will come from.”
Quoted from Various Sources
Published for: Ipodifier