Statement attributable to Luis Guardia, president, Food Research & Action Center
WASHINGTON, May 4, 2022 — FRAC is heartened that, after more than half a century, there will finally be a second White House Conference focused on ending hunger in America.
This milestone event in September comes as the nation grapples with the short- and long-term fallout of the public health and economic crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has only deepened America’s hunger crisis while shining a light on the racial disparities that have existed for far too long in this country. We appreciate the bipartisan effort that House Rules Committee Chair Jim McGovern (D-MA) spearheaded to make this initiative a reality. It is urgent for our nation to enact effective and equitable policies that end hunger and its root causes now and for the future.
This Conference is long overdue and now is the perfect time to enact policies that reflect the lessons learned during the pandemic so we may effectively put an end to hunger, and its root causes.
The first White House Conference on hunger held in 1969 was a game-changer in identifying effective solutions for addressing hunger. It led to the creation of proven federal nutrition programs such as SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), school meals, and WIC ( Special Supplemental Feeding Program for Women, Infants and Children). Today, these programs continue to serve tens of millions of struggling households all across the country.
Now is the time to bring advocates, the private sector, local, state, U.S. territorial and Tribal governments, and people with lived experience to the nation’s largest table to determine how we can build upon the critical gains and lessons learned over the last five decades to further strengthen our food security safety net and eradicate poverty-related hunger in America.
We know federal nutrition programs alone can’t solve hunger. We need broad-based solutions that address the root causes of hunger, such as inadequate wages and lack of affordable housing, among other barriers. The fact is no one should have to choose between putting food on the table and other basic necessities.
FRAC looks forward to collaborating with a myriad of people and organizations at the national, state, and community level to bring attention to the reality of hunger and the policy solutions that exist.
This is why FRAC is encouraging broad, diverse participation in the White House’s forthcoming listening sessions this summer, which will be open to the public. In the meantime, FRAC will work with advocates and individuals across the country to share stories on how anti-hunger programs and policies have provided much-needed nutrition support and can be further improved in recommendations for the Conference via the White House website.
FRAC has long known the inextricable link between hunger and health, education, and economic outcomes. This is disturbing because there is no excuse for hunger in America.
Hunger is solvable by 2030. Now, let’s work together to make this White House Conference the blueprint for what’s possible. Hungry people can’t wait.
The Food Research & Action Center improves the nutrition, health, and well-being of people struggling against poverty-related hunger in the United States through advocacy, partnerships, and by advancing bold and equitable policy solutions. To learn more, visit FRAC.org and follow us on Twitter and on Facebook.