Biden: More Benefits to End Hunger 09/27 06:06
The Biden administration is laying out its plan to meet an ambitious goal of
ending hunger in the U.S. by 2030, including expanding monthly benefits that
help low-income Americans buy food.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Biden administration is laying out its plan to meet
an ambitious goal of ending hunger in the U.S. by 2030, including expanding
monthly benefits that help low-income Americans buy food.
The administration, in a plan released Tuesday, is also seeking to increase
healthy eating and physical activity so that fewer people are afflicted with
diabetes, obesity, hypertension and other diet-related diseases. It said it
would work to expand Medicaid and Medicare access to obesity counseling and
"The consequences of food insecurity and diet-related diseases are
significant, far reaching, and disproportionately impact historically
underserved communities," Biden wrote in a memo outlining the White House
strategy. "Yet, food insecurity and diet-related diseases are largely
preventable, if we prioritize the health of the nation."
Biden is hosting a conference this week on hunger, nutrition and health, the
first by the White House since 1969. That conference, under President Richard
Nixon, was a pivotal moment that influenced the U.S. food policy agenda for 50
years. It led to a greatly expanded food stamps program and gave rise to the
Women, Infants and Children program, which serves half the babies born in the
U.S. by providing women with parenting advice, breastfeeding support and food
Over the years, cuts to federal programs coupled with stigmas over welfare
and big changes to how food and farming systems are run have prompted declines
in access to food.
Biden, a Democrat, is hoping this week's conference is similarly
transformative. But the goal of Nixon, a Republican, also was "to put an end to
hunger in America for all time."
And yet 10% of U.S. 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 Food
and Drug Administration.
To succeed, Biden needs buy-in from the private sector and an increasingly
partisan Congress. Some of the goals sound reminiscent of former first lady
Michelle Obama's Let's Move initiative to tackle childhood obesity and promote
healthy eating. The conference also will highlight the need for access to
better, healthier food and exercise.
Biden said in his memo that over the past 50 years, "we have learned so much
more about nutrition and the role that healthy eating plays in how our kids
perform in the classroom and about nutrition and its linkages to disease
Under to the White House plan, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
eligibility would be expanded, children would get better access to free meals,
and summer benefits would be extended to more schoolkids. Such changes would
require congressional approval.
The other tenets of the strategy include the development of new food
packaging to truth-check the "healthy" claims for some products, expanding SNAP
incentives to select fruits and vegetables, providing more programs to
encourage people to get outside and move, and boosting funding for research.