53 Years After Nixon's Hunger Conference, a Big Goal

Biden wants to see hunger eliminated in the US by 2030
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 28, 2022 12:25 PM CDT
Biden Sets a Big Goal: End Hunger in US by 2030
President Joe Biden speaks during the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, at the Ronald Reagan Building, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Biden has set a massive goal, but one he considers doable: End hunger in the US by 2030. He said as much Wednesday at the first White House conference on hunger, nutrition, and health since 1969—one that was held under President Nixon. What you need to know:

  • The goal fleshed out: The AP describes Biden as being at his most optimistic, sketching out a future where no child in the US would go hungry, and diet-related diseases would diminish because of better, healthier food alternatives and access to vast outdoor spaces.
  • The size of the challenge: 10% of US households in 2021 suffered food insecurity, meaning they were uncertain they could get enough food to feed themselves or their families because they lacked money or resources for food, according to the FDA.
  • Help from the private sector: Before the kickoff, the administration released a list of more than $8 billion in commitments to the cause from private companies, charitable foundations, and industry groups, like a $3.85 million commitment from the Publix grocery store chain to supply food to local food banks and establish free mobile food pantries.

  • The precedent: The 1969 conference was a pivotal moment that led to a major expansion of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps, and gave rise to the Women, Infants, and Children program, which serves half the babies born in the US by providing their mothers with parenting advice, breastfeeding support and food assistance.
  • What Biden will ask of Congress: Proposed policy changes include an expansion of SNAP eligibility, expanding access to free meals in schools, and extending summer meal benefits to more schoolchildren. All would require congressional approval. The president called on Congress, too, to revive and make permanent the expanded child tax credit that has expired.
  • One take: "With uncertainty over who will hold the gavel in Congress next year, it’s unclear if the administration will be able to see any legislation tackling those goals gain traction in the coming months and beyond," writes Meredith Lee Hill at Politico.
(More hunger stories.)

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