Assembly of Diverse Voices Will Develop Recommendations to Inform First White House Conference on Food Issues in 50 Years, Conference Takes Place This September
Washington, D.C. – Today, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) co-hosted a national convening on the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health at their headquarters in Washington, D.C. The one-day event — part of a series of national convenings co-hosted by the Task Force on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health — brought together a broad array of non-partisan stakeholders, including policymakers, academics, industry leaders, nonprofit representatives, and individuals with lived experience to discuss strategies for ending hunger, improving nutrition, reducing the prevalence of diet-related diseases, and promoting equity throughout the food system. A recording of the event’s opening session — including remarks from Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) — is available.
Statement from, G. William Hoagland, Senior Vice President, Bipartisan Policy Center
“One of the founders of the BPC was the Honorable Robert Dole. He would be very pleased today that BPC is hosting this convening that brings together thought leaders throughout the food, nutrition, and health sectors. In the 1970’s Senator Dole in a bipartisan approach worked with Senator George McGovern to address the issues of hunger in the United States. Their work was instrumental in reforms to the then food stamp program and expansion of the federal child nutrition programs. This convening will continue the legacy of Senators Dole and McGovern as we continue to address the challenges of hunger, nutrition, and health in the country.”
Earlier this year, President Joe Biden announced that the White House will host a Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health this September — the first national conference of this kind in more than 50 years. To inform and achieve the critical goals of the conference, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Food Systems for the Future, the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, and World Central Kitchen formed the Task Force on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, along with an accompanying Strategy Group on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health to advise the task force. These efforts — while not formally endorsed by the White House — seek to elevate diverse voices across the United States to help develop equitable, transformational policy solutions to some of the issues at the heart of this year’s conference.
Statement from Task Force Co-chair José Andrés, Founder and Chief Feeding Officer, World Central Kitchen; Founder, ThinkFoodGroup
“We often take food for granted, even while many people around the world are hungry. Leaders from the left and right and from countries across the world must come together to ensure food is treated as a universal human right. We have the tools to make sure no children are hungry and that families can feed themselves – our government needs to support and guide our path forward. The convening our task force is hosting with the Bipartisan Policy Center is a necessary step. The time for bold solutions is now.”
Statement from Task Force Co-chair Secretary Dan Glickman, Distinguished Fellow of the Center on Global Food and Agriculture, Chicago Council on Global Affairs; Senior Fellow, Bipartisan Policy Center; Former United States Secretary of Agriculture
“The White House Conference has the potential of recommending transformational improvements in our food system, improving food access to all, and making us a healthier society. But these improvements will, in part, require bipartisan consensus to achieve success, and the Bipartisan Policy Center offers the necessary venue to bring different interests together to reach those goals.”
Statement from Task Force Co-chair Senator Bill Frist, Former Majority Leader of the United States Senate; Global Board Vice-Chair, The Nature Conservancy; Senior Fellow, Bipartisan Policy Center; Adjunct Professor of Surgery, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Department of Cardiac Surgery
“The Bipartisan Policy Center is working with the Task Force on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health to provide critical, bipartisan recommendations that will guide how our country approaches our current hunger crisis. Overcoming this challenge starts during these community listening sessions where we engage and listen to the diverse input of our local communities to promote improved nutrition and health equity.”
Statement from Task Force Co-chair Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, Dean for Policy, and Jean Mayer Professor of Nutrition, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University; Professor of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine and Division of Cardiology, Tufts Medical Center
“We face a national food crisis — harming our health, families, communities, economy, natural resources, and national security. Many more Americans are sick than are healthy, caused by diet-related diseases like diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancers, poor gut health, and more. And millions of Americans face uncertainties when they think about how they are going to afford their next meal. These problems are crushing — and entirely fixable. I am delighted the Bipartisan Policy Center is partnering with us to co-host today’s event — a powerful acknowledgment that this crisis knows no political lines, and the solutions we implement can and must be bipartisan. The coming White House Conference is a historic chance for all of us to come together — government, communities, academia, and the private sector — to find ambitious and achievable solutions.”
This effort is supported by the Bia-Echo Foundation, HAND Foundation, World Central Kitchen, and Yun Family Foundation.
About the first White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Health: The 1969 Conference brought the nation together to address widespread hunger in America and was chaired and organized by Dr. Jean Mayer — a leading nutrition scientist, the tenth president of Tufts University, and the namesake of the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts. The conference established much of the current U.S. food policy framework, including major expansion and harmonization of the National School Lunch Program and the Food Stamp Program (now SNAP), creation of the School Breakfast Program and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and new consumer protections like nutrition labeling. These policies together greatly reduced caloric hunger and vitamin deficiencies in the U.S. It’s time for a second national coordinated effort to update and modernize our food and nutrition policies and systems.
About the Chicago Council on Global Affairs
Founded in 1922, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing knowledge and engagement in global affairs. Our in-depth analysis and expert-led research influence policy conversations and inform the insights we share with our growing community. Through accessible content and open dialogue of diverse, fact-based perspectives, we empower more people to help shape our global future. Learn more at thechicagocouncil.org.
About Food Systems for the Future
Food Systems for the Future (FSF) was founded to catalyze, enable, and scale market-driven agtech, foodtech, and innovative businesses across the value chain to improve nutrition outcomes in underserved and low-income communities. Through wraparound support to enterprises and broader ecosystem building, FSF addresses barriers to affordability, availability, and awareness of healthy, nutrient dense foods through our core services: financing, business acceleration, public policy & education, partnerships & community engagement, and nutrition expertise. FSF currently operates in the United States and Sub-Saharan Africa. Learn more at fsfinstitute.net.
About the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University
The Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University is a leading U.S. institution focused on education, research, and public impact around the food system, from soil to society. The School’s five divisions and additional centers and institutes are renowned for the application of scientific evidence to national and international policy. Tufts University, located on campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville, and Grafton, Massachusetts, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier teaching and research universities in the U.S. Learn more at nutrition.tufts.edu/
About World Central Kitchen
Founded in 2010 by Chef José Andrés, World Central Kitchen (WCK) is first to the frontlines, providing meals in response to humanitarian, climate, and community crises while working to build resilient food systems with locally led solutions. WCK has served more than 100 million fresh meals to people impacted by natural disasters and other crises around the world. WCK’s Resilience Programs strengthen food and nutrition security by training chefs and school cooks; advancing clean cooking practices; and awarding grants to farms, fisheries, and small food businesses while also providing educational and networking opportunities. Learn more at wck.org.