U.S White House Conference – $8 Billion toward a National Strategy for Hunger, Nutrition, and Health

On September 28, the White House held the U.S.’s second Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health.  The main goal of this conference was “ending hunger, improving nutrition and physical activity, and reducing diet-related diseases and disparities” by 2030.

As a product of the conference, the White House released a National Strategy outlining federal policy initiatives to address these challenges: the Biden-Harris Administration National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health is a comprehensive federal plan to end hunger in America by 2030.

This strategy articlates the priorities of the National Nutrition Policy – Healthy People 2020. It also reflects input from stakeholders across the country—including state, local and tribal governments; non-profit organizations; philanthropic foundations; private businesses; academia; nutrition professionals; consumers and advocates—who have been involved in hunger relief efforts.

Additionally, the White House released an associated fact sheet outlining the More Than $8 Billion in New Commitments as Part of Call to Action for White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health

The Executive Summary on the National Strategy, published by the White House in tandem with the report, summarizes the five main pillars of the national strategy:

1. Improve Food Access and Affordability

End hunger by making it easier for everyone—including individuals in urban, suburban, rural, and Tribal communities, and territories—to access and afford food.

2. Integrate Nutrition and Health

Prioritize the role of nutrition and food security in overall health—including disease prevention and management—and ensure that our health care system addresses the nutrition needs of all people.

3. Empower All Consumers to Make and Have Access to Healthy Choices

Foster environments that enable all people to easily make informed, healthy choices, increase access to healthy food, encourage healthy workplace and school policies, and invest in public education campaigns that are culturally appropriate and resonate with specific communities.

4. Support Physical Activity for All

Make it easier for people to be more physically active—in part by ensuring that everyone has access to safe places to be active—increase awareness of the benefits of physical activity, and conduct research on and measure physical activity.

5. Enhance Nutrition and Food Security Research

Improve nutrition metrics, data collection, and research to inform nutrition and food security policy, particularly on issues of equity, access, and disparities.


USDA to Provide $2b in Food Aid to Combat Growing Food Insecurity Across US

The U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to provide $2 billion in food aid to food banks and school districts to help feed children and families who may be struggling to afford enough nutritious food.  This comes amid fast-rising food prices, especially for fresh fruits and vegetables, and increases in food insecurity across the country.

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, usage of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) increased by over 4 million recipients – all participants were allotted maximum benefits. Emergency funds for food aid will likely end within the next few months of 2022, which would lead to substantial decreases in monthly assistance. The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) estimates that “41 million SNAP recipients will lose an average of $82 in food benefits per month and some households will see benefits drop by as much as $200 per month.”

The USDA said that the funds are part of its “emergency food assistance” program, which provides money to government agencies and nonprofits to help low-income people buy groceries. The funds will come from the Commodity Credit Corporation, a government agency that provides loans to farmers.

These funds will go toward supporting school meal programs as well as providing assistance for food banks that have seen demand skyrocket since the pandemic started. The agency said it would also increase funding for community projects focused on nutrition education and healthy eating habits by $10 million over last year’s budget, bringing total funding up to $30 million nationwide.

Task Force Informs White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health

On September 28th, 2022, the Biden administration will hold the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. This will be the second conference of its kind in the United States, with the last being held in 1969. The main goal of this conference is “ending hunger, improving nutrition and physical activity, and reducing diet-related diseases and disparities” by 2030.

Millions of U.S. citizens are afflicted by food insecurity and diet-related diseases, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. This leads to high rates of morbidity associated with modifiable lifestyle factors. Hunger and diet-related diseases impact underserved populations at a disproportionately higher rate and are associated with a lack of access to safe, affordable, and healthy food and housing.

A recent report, entitled Informing the White House Conference: Ambitious, Actionable Recommendations to End Hunger, Advance Nutrition, and Improve Health in the United States, details specific ways in which the U.S. government can act and change to reach the 2030 goal. This report was created by an independent task force comprised of experts across fields including nutrition, medicine, food policy, business, agriculture, and health advocacy.

The policy and health information in the above report is distilled in this NPR article. It explains the following 7 ideas to help shift the normal American diet toward a healthier and more sustainable future:

  1. Treat food as medicine
  2. Focus on quality of calories, not just quantity
  3. Expand access to dietary and lifestyle counseling
  4. Support food entrepreneurs
  5. Increase the number of new farmers growing healthy foods using regenerative farming techniques
  6. Make school meals free for all students
  7. Establish a federal ‘food czar’


For background, details, and quotes from the task force, read the full NPR article: The U.S. diet is deadly. Here are 7 ideas to get Americans eating healthier.