Hunger Conference Mixed Reviews: Everyone needs to cater to children’s need of healthy food

During the White House’s Conference on hunger and nutrition, the President announced $8 million in private sector funding.

The White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health is getting mixed reviews.

Leaders gathered to lay out a national strategy to end hunger by 2030. The President announced $8 million in private sector funding. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke to the importance of healthy, accessible food for children at home and school, but he says it will make more than just the federal government to get the job done.

“This is a core intervention to improve child health and hunger. Recent research demonstrates that school meals provide the healthiest food a child eats during the day. The proposal reorients the important program as a key health tool to provide the highest quality meals and to engage children around healthy choices. We also increase access to local and regional foods, enabling more schools to cook meals from scratch by funding training and equipment purchases, investing in a robust school nutrition workforce, and expanding nutrition education for our children. These changes are crucial. However, the federal government cannot do them alone. We’re hosting this conference to bring together local governments and private businesses, including food companies, grocery stores, non-profits, researchers, and health care providers to unite around a vision put forward in this strategy. To jumpstart this effort, today, the White House announced bold commitments from the nation’s businesses and philanthropic and non-profit sectors. It’s going to take these groups and many others to end hunger and improve nutrition,” said Vilsack.

More than 100 organizations have committed to the strategy.

The ranking member of the House Ag Committee, Representative Glenn GT Thompson, released a statement shortly after the conference began, calling it a “political stunt,” saying more bipartisan members should have been invited.

“From unanswered inquiries to the exclusion of many republican and democrat policymakers and relevant stakeholders, it’s unfortunate today’s conference has seemingly deteriorated into a handpicked political gathering whose sole purpose is to perpetuate partisan ideologies. I remain committed to reviewing any emerging policy proposals and will make certain our producers are part of the conversation,” said Thompson.