The White House gains partners to end US hunger within ten years

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Biden administration is counting on a variety of private sector partnerships to help fund and implement its ambitious goal of ending hunger in America by 2030.

President Joe Biden is hosting a conference Wednesday on hunger, nutrition and health, the first at the White House since 1969. That conference, under President Richard Nixon, was a pivotal moment that influenced the food policy agenda of SA for 50 years.

The conference hosted by Nixon, a Republican, led to a major expansion of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps, and led to the Women, Infants and Children program, which serves half of the children who born in the US by providing their mothers with parenting advice, breastfeeding support and food assistance.

This year’s conference hosted by Biden, a Democrat, focuses on his goal of essentially ending food insecurity for all Americans by the end of the decade. It also seeks to promote healthy eating, good nutrition and physical activity so that fewer people are affected by diabetes, obesity, hypertension and other diet-related diseases.

Before the conference, the Biden administration released a list of more than $8 billion in pledges to the cause from private companies, charitable foundations and industry groups. They range from full donations to in-kind contributions of services and include:

—A $20 million pledge from pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk to improve access to healthy foods and safe spaces for physical activity in marginalized communities.

—A $3.85 million pledge from grocery store chain Publix to provide food to local food banks and establish free mobile food pantries.

—$22 million from food company Danone to fund a program to help “at least 300 million Americans build healthier dietary habits.”

—A pledge by the Meijer grocery store chain to offer up to a 10% discount to encourage SNAP program users to buy fruits and vegetables.

Some of the goals of the conference reflect former first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative to combat childhood obesity and promote healthy eating, emphasizing the need for access to better and healthier food and exercise.

While Biden is riding on the successful campaign of private sector buy-in, some of the strongest possible obstacles to his proposals are in an increasingly partisan Congress.

Among the proposed policy changes are expanding SNAP eligibility, expanding access to free meals in schools and extending summer meal benefits to more school children. All of these changes would require Congressional approval.

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