White House: Commit for hunger conference, but don’t ask for money
The White House last week issued a public request that stakeholders make a “commitment” to achieving the announced goals of the upcoming White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health but warned them not to ask for any money.
The conference will be held Sept. 28 in person in Washington with an invited audience and online, White House officials said during an August briefing.
“The Biden-Harris administration has set the goal of ending hunger and increasing healthy eating and physical activity by 2030 so fewer Americans experience diet-related diseases,” the announcement noted. “Achieving this goal will require everyone working together. As part of the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, the administration is encouraging stakeholders to make their own commitments that will allow us to collectively achieve this goal.”
The announcement included a link to a form in which people could make a commitment. The link is to the CDC Foundation, a nonprofit associated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The nonprofit CDC Foundation is working to identify cross-sector partners interested in making transformative commitments to align their efforts with one or more of the five pillars outlined by the White House. These commitments may be recognized at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health in September 2022,” the announcement said. But in red type it adds, “Please note that if you are seeking funding for your organization as part of this initiative, the CDC Foundation at present is not seeking organizations to fund.”
Since the announcement of the date of the conference, stakeholders have continued to call on the White House to include their priorities in the final report.
On Aug. 31, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., one of the sponsors of the legislation that set up the conference, sent Susan Rice, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council who is coordinating the conference, a letter in which he called for integration of Food as Medicine into federal healthcare, mandatory front-of-packaging labeling that warns consumers about unhealthy food; mandatory reduction targets for sodium and sugar; and guidelines for what foods can be served in federal facilities.
“We should set as our goal to end hunger and ensure that every child reach the age of 18 at a healthy weight,” Booker wrote Rice.
This week, Agriculture Deputy Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Service Stacy Dean posted a blog in which she encouraged “everyone to tune into the conference, host a conference watch party, and consider ways we can work together to end hunger, reduce diet-related diseases, and advance health equity.”
Sens. Angus King, I-Maine, Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, Tina Smith, D-Minn., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, have introduced a bill to double USDA’s Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program funding.
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