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White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health

By June 13, 2022October 25th, 2022No Comments

Share Your Ideas and Stories to Inform a National Strategy to End Hunger

This September, the White House will convene a conference focused on ending hunger in America, more than 50 years after the first conference of its kind. The inaugural White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Health, held in 1969, was a landmark event leading to major expansions of SNAP and school meals, and the creation of WIC. This year’s conference is a critical opportunity to build on those successes, incorporating what we have learned in the decades since and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To inform a national strategy to end hunger, the White House is gathering policy recommendations and stories from a wide range of stakeholders, including advocates, program operators and administrators, and people with lived experience of food insecurity. We encourage New Yorkers to share their ideas and stories through the following opportunities:

  • Submit policy recommendations through New York State’s survey by June 22, 2022. Note that there is no requirement to respond to all questions; please complete as many or few of the prompts as are relevant to your work and ideas.
  • Share stories and ideas through the White House’s conference webpage by July 15, 2022.

Hunger Solutions New York is submitting policy recommendations focused on strengthening and expanding the reach of federal nutrition assistance programs. These programs are a critical and effective first line of defense against hunger, shown to support food security, lift millions out of poverty, and improve a wide range of mental and physical health outcomes. Still, the programs can and must be improved to reach those who remain food insecure, including more than 1 in 10 New Yorkers, disproportionately households with children and Black and Latine households.

Among other priorities, federal actions must:

  • Improve benefit adequacy for SNAP and WIC to provide sufficient resources for consistent access to healthy food.
  • Remove barriers to SNAP participation by eliminating the time limit for unemployed adults, removing the five-year bar for immigrants, and permanently expanding eligibility for low-income college students.
  • Provide healthy, no cost school meals to all students to improve access, reduce stigma, and support kids’ health and learning.
  • Reduce hunger when school is out:
    • Create a nationwide Summer EBT and Emergency EBT program.
    • Permanently eliminate area eligibility requirements and provide greater meal service flexibility to expand the reach of summer and afterschool meals.
  • Support nutrition for our youngest children:
    • Expand eligibility for WIC to a child’s sixth birthday.
    • Restore child care providers’ ability to serve three meals a day through the Child and Adult Care Food Program.
  • Increase reimbursement rates for child nutrition programs to align with the full costs of operating them.
  • Streamline administration, enrollment, and coordination across all of the programs.

Strengthening the federal nutrition programs must be at the forefront of a national strategy to end hunger, alongside efforts to address its root causes. We look forward to working alongside New Yorkers and national partners to make the most of this historic opportunity.