WASHINGTON – 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 by the White House since 1969. That conference, chaired by President Richard Nixon, was a pivotal moment that affected the 50-year American food policy agenda.
The conference hosted by Nixon, a Republican, greatly expanded the supplemental nutritional assistance program, known as Food Stamps, and led to the emergence of Women’s, Infants and Children’s Programwhich serves half of all babies born in the United States by providing their mothers with parenting advice, breastfeeding support, and nutritional assistance.
This year’s conference hosted by Biden, a Democrat, is primarily focused on his goal of ending Food insecurity for all Americans by the end of the decade. It also seeks to promote Healthy foodgood nutrition and Physical activity To reduce the number of infected diabeticObesity, high blood pressure and other diet-related diseases.
Before the conference, the Biden administration released a list of more than $8 billion in commitments to the cause from private companies, charities and industry groups. They range from direct donations to in-kind contributions for services and include:
A $20 million commitment from pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk to improve access to healthy foods and safe places for physical activity in marginalized communities.
A $3.85 million commitment from grocery chain Publix to provide food to local food banks and establish free mobile food stores.
$22 million from Danone to fund a program to help “at least 300 million Americans build healthy eating habits.”
—A commitment from grocery chain Meijer to offer a discount of up to 10% to incentivize SNAP users to purchase fruits and vegetables.
Some of the conference’s goals are reminiscent of former First Lady Michelle Obama’s initiative, Let’s Move to tackle childhood obesity and promote healthy eating, while highlighting the need for better, healthier food and exercise.
As Biden touts his successful private-sector buying campaign, some of the strongest potential obstacles to his proposals lie in the increasingly partisan Congress.
Proposed policy changes include expanding SNAP eligibility, expanding access to free meals in schools, and expanding summer meal benefits to more schoolchildren. All of these changes require congressional approval.
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