By: Krystal Register, MS, RDN, LDN, Senior Director, Health & Well-being, FMI and Madalyn Farrar, Manager, Government Relations, FMI
Over 50 years ago, the first White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Health was held with the goal to “put an end to hunger in America for all time.” The report included over 1,800 recommendations to influence nutrition policy over the next five decades with the most notable accomplishments including major expansion of the Food Stamp Program, now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), expansion of the National School Lunch Program, authorization of the Supplemental Feeding Program for Women Infants and Children (WIC), and improvements to nutrition labeling and ingredient labeling.
Earlier this year, Congress appropriated funds for the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in September 2022 (WH Conference). The goal of the WH Conference is to:
“End hunger and increase healthy eating and physical activity by 2030, so that fewer Americans experience diet-related diseases like diabetes, obesity, and hypertension.”
FMI has been engaging with multiple stakeholders to guide and champion the WH Conference and provide the food industry perspective to advance access to healthy, affordable and safe food and nutrition policies based on science to support healthy living for all consumers.
The timeline for the WH Conference is compact with the event occurring in just over three months in September. There are multiple activities already planned including virtual, regional listening sessions for the first two weeks in June.
The Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University has formed a coalition to inform the WH Conference drawing on their long history in nutrition and health policy. Separate from the White House efforts, the coalition gathered by Tufts has tentatively announced listening sessions will be held in Auburn, AL, Louisville, KY, and Chicago, IL. FMI’s president and CEO, Leslie Sarasin, is serving on the task force for Tufts to provide strategic insight for the coalition.
FMI is actively engaged, but we need our member companies, who make up the food industry, to provide input, experience and to share stories throughout this process.
What can you do?
- Get Up To Speed - Find details and information for the food industry at www.FMI.org/WHConference. We’ll continue to update this webpage with resources and information throughout this process.
- Learn What We’ll Be Talking About – The White House has established Five Pillars to better define the scope of its Conference. FMI will focus on the pillars of hunger, nutrition and health. Find out details about each pillar at www.FMI.org/WHConference.
- Share your stories with FMI or directly at listening sessions—Details about the White House listening sessions and registration information are at www.FMI.org/WHConference. Stay tuned for additional details about the Tufts University listening sessions and others.
After the WH Conference, FMI plans to convene the food industry in October to discuss next steps for this important work. We’ll continue to share details and information throughout this process.