WhyHunger Statement on The White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health

“There’s a lot to be excited about, and yet so much more needed to ensure nutritious food is a human right and the broader transformation of our food system.”  

NEW YORK (September 28, 2022) – Noreen Springstead, executive director of WhyHunger, issued the following statement on today’s White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health:

“Ending hunger by 2030 is a tall order and The White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health set a high bar to do just that. Today’s conference demonstrated that there is a lot to be excited about—from the call for wage increases and worker protection to investments in local and regional food and farm economies, cementing of the Child Tax Credit, expansion of SNAP benefits, and economic security for workers along the food chain—and yet there is so much more needed to ensure nutritious food is a human right and the broader transformation of our food system. We cannot end hunger without concrete steps to address racial, economic and social injustice at its roots.

The whole-of-government nature of the summit will hopefully produce greater alignment across the multiple federal agencies that deal with hunger issues — from the USDA and Health and Human Services to the Departments of Labor, Transportation and Housing & Urban Development and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. However, a truly comprehensive approach to hunger and nutrition must also require a commitment to dismantle the systems that are keeping people poor and hungry in the first place. We need more than words. We need bold action by the government, and major commitments from corporations, non-profits, and philanthropic foundations to change the way they are operating.

As one of the wealthiest countries in the world, there is no reason why America continues to face food insecurity. Hunger in America is a political choice. We need bipartisan action in the tradition of decades past. The need to rethink our national approach to issues of hunger, and rising food insecurity , exacerbated by the pandemic and rates of inflation, is more important than ever. Now is the time to shine a light on food insecurity and instate new, bold legislation to help promote nutrition and health in our nation and end hunger once and for all.  Meeting immediate needs is critical, but long-term change takes transformation of the systems, policies and institutions that keep people poor and oppressed. We cannot end hunger with food charity – we must demand that solutions addressing the root causes of hunger are front and center in our collective efforts so that all Americans can live dignified lives.

WhyHunger’s co-founder, Harry Chapin, was instrumental in the first Presidential Commission on World Hunger held by former President Jimmy Carter’s Administration in 1978. We are proud to follow in his footsteps to continuously advocate for transformational policies and increased government funding aimed at striking at the root causes of hunger and ensuring the human right to nutritious food for all. Where the momentum goes from here, and our collective ability to follow the lead of those most impacted by hunger and poverty will be important to determining how monumental this moment really is. We’ll be working and watching to ensure action and most importantly accountability.”

About WhyHunger 

Founded in 1975 by the late Harry Chapin and radio DJ Bill Ayres, WhyHunger believes a world without hunger is possible. We provide critical resources to support grassroots movements and fuel community solutions rooted in social, environmental, racial and economic justice. A four-star rated charity by Charity Navigator, with highest ratings for excellence in fiscal management accountability and transparency, WhyHunger is working to end hunger and advance the human right to nutritious food in the U.S. and around the world. 91 cents of every dollar raised goes directly to programmatic work. Learn more at whyhunger.org and follow us on Facebook,  Twitter and Instagram.