In late September, the White House hosted the second ever Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health (the Conference). The first conference, held in 1969, led to transformative change in the food system, including expansion of the school lunch program, increased access to food for the hungry, and improvements to food and nutrition labeling. Alongside the Conference, the Administration released a National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health (the Strategy), with the ultimate goal of ending hunger by 2030 and reducing diet-related disease. The Strategy includes five pillars: (1) improve food access and affordability; (2) integrate nutrition and health; (3) empower all consumers to make and have access to healthy choice; (4) support physical activity for all; and (5) enhance nutrition and food security research.
In addition to many commitments at the Federal level, the Strategy took a “whole of America” approach and identified actions for territorial, state, and local governments along with proposed actions for those in the private and nonprofit sectors. In tandem with the Strategy, the Administration announced more than $8 billion in private and non-profit sector commitments that will help end hunger, reduce diet-related disease, and increase physical activity.
In the lead up to the Conference, the Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC) engaged in the process to help shape the Strategy, submitting recommendations that were informed by the clinic’s work on issues of food recovery, food security, nutrition education, food access, food is medicine, and nutrition research. FLPC was excited to see some of its recommendations incorporated in the Strategy, including several around decreasing food waste, increasing nutrition education for doctors, and increasing access to food is medicine interventions.
As several conference speakers noted, the Conference and release of the Strategy are just the beginning—there is still much work to be done. To keep the conversation moving forward, FLPC has published a response to the Strategy, highlighting some of the more notable commitments and making suggestions where gaps and ambiguities may exist. Achieving the goals of ending hunger and reducing diet related disease will require sustained effort across society and FLPC is excited to continue contributing to the conversation.