Task Force on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health Co-chairs Applaud White House Conference Announcement

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Aug 29, 2022

First White House Conference on Food Issues in 50 Years Will Take Place on Sept. 28

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Biden-Harris Administration announced that it will host the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health — the first conference of its kind held since 1969 — on Sept. 28 in Washington, DC. The event will be livestreamed and the administration is encouraging organizations to hold satellite events in advance of the Conference; you can learn more about how to participate here. 

Last week, the Task Force on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health (Task Force) — an independent group of national leaders and experts convened by 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 — publicly released its comprehensive Report to inform next month’s Conference. The Task Force believes that these efforts — while not formally requested nor endorsed by the White House — can help elevate the best ideas across the United States to catalyze historic, transformational solutions to some of the greatest challenges around food facing the nation. On Wednesday, Aug. 31, the Task Force Co-Chairs will host a public webinar on the Report, its critical recommendations, and how they can inform the work of the upcoming Conference – register here

The Task Force Co-chairs thank the Biden-Harris Administration for leading this historic Conference and for centering the need to end systemic hunger, nutrition, and health inequities.

Statement from Task Force Co-chair José Andrés, Founder and Chief Feeding Officer, World Central Kitchen; Founder, ThinkFoodGroup

“To paraphrase Brillat-Savarin, the future of our country depends on how we feed ourselves — and we cannot, we must not fail in our pursuit of a healthier, more equitable food system. I applaud President Biden and this White House for answering the bipartisan call to host the first White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health since 1969. We have all the more reason to work together with the urgency of now to produce actionable policy outcomes, meaningful commitments, and a bold National Strategy worthy of the 53-year wait for this moment.” 

Statement from Task Force Co-chair Ambassador Ertharin Cousin, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Food Systems for the Future; Former Executive Director, World Food Programme

“The upcoming White House Conference provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity to push forward an ambitious food policy agenda that will ensure food justice for millions of Americans. Fixing our broken food systems will also require multi-sector partnerships that are up to the challenge of permanently changing the landscape of hunger, nutrition, and health including private sector human and financial capital investments. I am energized and hopeful because the funding is out there; the will is strong; and the solutions are clear. Now all actors must mobilize and respond.”

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 is an incredibly important effort to encourage a renewed national focus on hunger, nutrition, and health. The Conference can be a transformational catalyst for government, the private sector, American agriculture and so many others to continue the work of the original 1969 Conference to feed the hungry, improve the nation’s health, and reduce health care costs.”

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 upcoming White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health will be pivotal as we work to combat food insecurities and health disparities all over the U.S. Bipartisan solutions outlined in our Task Force Report released last week will inform the White House as it seeks to address these health challenges. By prioritizing food and nutrition security, we are working to promote health equity and ensuring that everyone has a fair opportunity for a healthy life.” 

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 are excited about this historic moment, and we thank the Administration and Congressional champions for their leadership in making this Conference a reality. We stand ready to support their efforts and move us forward. The next phase of work for all of us across the nation will be after the Conference, to ensure continued energy and attention on these critical issues and implementation of the national strategy for systemic change.”

The Task Force’s efforts are supported by the Bia-Echo Foundation, the HAND Foundation, and World Central Kitchen; with additional support for Convenings and Listening Sessions from The Rockefeller Foundation and the 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.

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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 200 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.

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Our coalition plans to hold a series of convenings and dialogues across the country for representatives from multiple sectors, as well as community organizations and individuals, to discuss policy actions to achieve the Conference goals.

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Submit a Published Report

We are collecting reports, white papers, briefs, and articles that contain policy recommendations for ending hunger, improving nutrition, and reducing diet-related chronic diseases. The focus is on domestic (U.S) policy recommendations that have been published in the past 10 years. These resources will be made available to our Task Force and may inform its final report of policy recommendations which will be submitted to the White House.

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