The White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health
It’s been more than 50 years since the first and only White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health was held in 1969. That pivotal event helped establish life changing programs like school lunches, SNAP, WIC, as well as changes to how we label foods. On September 28, 2022, the White House held the next generation of that Conference.
For 1 in 6 Americans, good food is either too expensive, too far, or both. At Partnership for a Healthier America, we believe this conference has the opportunity to produce similar far-reaching outcomes that will result in healthier lives across America and to create Food Equity.
The 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. The administration released its strategy on Hunger, Health, and Nutrition, to coincide with the Conference.
Partnership for a Healthier America believes that this strategy promises to be far reaching if all actors do their parts – government, private sector and nonprofits. We applaud the administration’s stated desire to shift from a mindset of treating diet-related diseases to preventing them from occurring in the first place. This shift in focus is essential and is a critical component to achieving Food Equity.
You can read PHA’s statement on the National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health here.
PHA is working closely with both the White House and the CDC Foundation to engage companies in working toward food equity. Coming on the heels of the UN Food Systems Summit last fall, and in tandem with the World Economic Forum’s initiative on nutrition, there has never been a better time to leverage food for health.
White House Conference Pillars
The five pillars described below define the scope of the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. They are meant to help identify actions that can be taken by all parts of society — including the federal government; local, state, territory, and Tribal governments; nonprofit and community groups; and private companies.
Improve food access and affordability: End hunger by making it easier for everyone — including urban, suburban, rural, and Tribal communities — to access and afford food. For example, expand eligibility for and increase participation in food assistance programs and improve transportation to places where food is available.
Integrate nutrition and health: Prioritize the role of nutrition and food security in overall health, including disease prevention and management, and ensure that our healthcare system addresses the nutrition needs of all people.
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 messaging and education campaigns that are culturally appropriate and resonate with specific communities.
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.
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.
What Partnership for a Healthier America is Doing to Support the Conference Pillars
Since its founding in 2010, PHA has believed in the power of the private sector to make the healthy choice the easy choice for consumers and to provide affordable access to good food for all families. We have partnered with 490 corporations, food banks, convenience store chains and distributors, hospitals, early childhood education centers, SNAP-Ed implementing agencies, and Good Food for All local coordinating partners among others.
Our focus surrounding the Conference will be to use it as a clarion call for the public and private sector to transform the food system in pursuit of Food Equity.
We have committed to adding 100 million additional servings of vegetables, fruits, and beans to the marketplace by 2025. The White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health is the tipping point that will get us to that goal.
We are actively working with companies to make significant commitments alongside the Conference that will improve health outcomes for millions of Americans, specifically in underserved communities. Here is who we are currently working with:
Dole Packaged Foods’ commitment with PHA will create access to food for thousands of families in Jackson, MS through the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Mississippi.
Instacart has made a commitment with PHA to bring 10 million servings of produce to nutrition insecure families across the US over the next three years.
International Fresh Produce Association
The International Fresh Produce Association has committed to working with PHA and the cities of Denver and Indianapolis to develop a framework for doubling consumption of fresh vegetables and fruits over the next decade.
KinderCare Learning Companies
KinderCare has committed to doubling the consumption of vegetables in after school sites with PHA by 2025!
National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA)
NAMA has made a commitment to work with PHA to pilot SNAP eligibility in vending machines and micro-markets.
How You Can Help
If you’re looking to join the movement of people committed to Food Equity, you can take our Fight for Food Equity Pledge and you can find other actions in our Food Equity Action Center.
If you’re a company interested in working with us to ensure everyone, in every zip code, has access to good food, please contact us at email@example.com.