Auburn University: Hunger Solutions Institute gathers insights, provides feedback for upcoming White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health

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Auburn University College of Human Sciences’ Hunger Solutions Institute, or HSI, is fighting to end hunger, participating in national conversations this summer and providing recommendations for the upcoming White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health.

The conference will be livestreamed on Sept. 28, more than 50 years after the first White House Conference on Food, Nutrition and Health was held in 1969.

“Hunger Solutions Institute was humbled to work alongside three national organizations to host numerous listening sessions for Alabama leaders and residents to provide critical input on rural food access for consideration in the forthcoming White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health,” said Alicia Powers, managing director for HSI. “Alabama leaders and residents provided feedback on challenges Alabamians face in accessing food and innovative solutions to continue to push toward an equitable food system for all.”

HSI partnered with the Alliance to End Hunger and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs to host summer listening sessions for reporting and feedback to the White House. More than 200 people joined the Alliance to End Hunger’s virtual, “Hunger Free Communities Listening Session,” and more than 50 people participated in the listening session hosted by HSI and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs in Selma, Alabama.

HSI also helped to prepare a report on behalf of the United States Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s, or SDSN USA, Zero Hunger Pathways Project, reflecting six partner-led convenings with 259 total attendees from the past year and a half. Reports were submitted in July covering topics focused on improving food access and affordability, integrating nutrition and health, empowering healthy choices, enhancing nutrition and food security research, sustainability and resilience.

“The Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ Center on Global Food and Agriculture is a proud partner of the Hunger Solutions Institute. Through collaboration on gathering participants, generating discussion questions and leading focus groups, the council and HSI successfully hosted a listening session in Selma that collected information from critical stakeholders,” said Peggy Yih, managing director of the center. “That information was used to develop and submit a report summarizing the findings to the White House ahead of the 2022 White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health. We look forward to the upcoming conference and joining with HSI as we fight to end hunger.”

During the conference, the White House will be announcing a national strategy that identifies steps the government will take alongside the public and private sectors to address five pillars surrounding hunger, nutrition and health. These pillars include: (1) improving food access and affordability; (2) integrating nutrition and health; (3) empowering all consumers to make and have access to healthy choices; (4) supporting physical activity for all; and (5) enhancing nutrition and food security research.

Powers said HSI looks forward to working alongside its partners as the White House announces the national agenda regarding hunger, nutrition and health.

“HSI anxiously awaits the release of the national agenda and is committed to supporting communities and key stakeholders in building sustainable, innovative and equitable local food systems,” she said.

The White House stated the goal 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.”

Additionally, the White House is encouraging partners and anti-hunger advocates to host satellite events before, during and after the conference to continue conversations and help end hunger within communities.

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