President Biden Permanently Extends Children’s Tax Credit, Raises Minimum Wage, and Expands Nutrition Assistance Programs to Help Lower Hunger Rates as President Biden Holds Second-ever Conference on Food Insecurity and Diet-Related Diseases asked Congress to do so. But the regime faces an uphill battle.
The conference comes at a time of rising food inflation, the end of the pandemic’s bounty of keeping hunger rates at bay, and storms on both coasts threatening the food security of millions. The event ties into one of Biden’s goals to end hunger in America by 2030 through proposed laws, regulatory changes and public-private partnerships.
of Strategies advocated by administration include expanding nutrition assistance programs Start more healthcare programs to cover a medically adjusted diet.
“If you look at your child and you can’t feed your child, what else is wrong with you?” said Biden.
“In America, no child should go to bed hungry. No parent should die from a preventable disease,” he said.
His remarks focused on the pandemic, with food security and diet-related illnesses coming to the forefront as families waited in long lines at food banks. Also, people with obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and other diet-related conditions are at higher risk of being hospitalized with COVID.
Biden said, “Many of you are here to help our fellow Americans who have lost hope and dignity in the face of job loss, business closures, evictions, homelessness, hunger, loss, control, and perhaps the worst. was there.
During the pandemic, key government support such as stimulus packages and child tax credits have allowed the country to avoid a significant increase in food insecurity.
But nearly all the benefits of the pandemic are coming to an end, and advocates fear food insecurity rates will rise this year.
Partisan divisions threaten success
Part of the White House plan relies on Congress to pass new legislation, and with Republicans opposing many of the recommendations, it’s unclear how quickly most ideas will become reality.
Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson of Pennsylvania and Rep. Virginia Fox of North Carolina, two Republican Republicans who head the committee that drafts legislation related to food and nutrition, called the conference partisan. expressed concern.
“There are 433 other members of the House of Representatives. It’s good to hear them. I’m clearly against it,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told reporters.
Senator Mike Brown (R-Ind.), the Senate Republican legislative sponsor who funds the conference, joined the legislative panel at the start of the event. However, he avoided discussing potential bills, instead focusing on private partnerships and his own experience as a business owner.
When asked about the partisan divide, Vilsak said that legislation providing universal free meals during the summer and giving schools flexibility in what they can offer in tackling supply chain issues. Credit to Senator John Boozman, R-Ark, for helping push forward. Boozman’s office said it would not attend the event due to scheduling conflicts.
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra also refuted the idea that the conference was partisan, noting that the legislation funding the bill was bipartisan.
Becerra told NPR, “I’m a clear advocate of viewing food as medicine, working with nutrition to improve health, and giving all Americans more fitness.” To me, those are non-partisan issues…There are a lot of people out there who suffer from diabetes and heart disease, and I assure you they have a D and an R in the back of their name.”
Governments and businesses also want to act without Congress
A key element of the White House strategy relies on partnerships with businesses and nonprofits. Private companies have pledged more than $8 billion to meet the White House’s goals. Tyson, for example, has invested more than $250 million in seven years to increase access to protein products, especially in food banks.
John R. Tyson, Executive Vice President, Strategy and Chief Sustainability Officer, Tyson, said: The company subsidizes food banks for larger refrigerators and storage equipment to store and pack more food. “This is another example of how events like this can bring about innovation in how food gets to those who need it.”
But other groups want to see more from the government.
“Ending hunger requires urgency and political will. Only the federal government is truly ready to deal with it. Relying on charity will only dilute that effort,” Jude said. said Josh Protas, vice president of public policy at MAZON, a human anti-hunger organization. group. “At the end of the day, we cannot outsource collective responsibility. We cannot provide food banks to end hunger.”
Vilsack and Becerra said USDA and HHS will review progress on commitments.
And there are some things that agencies can start with.
USDA has the flexibility to expand the program This will allow schools in low-income areas to provide free meals. The Food and Drug Administration has also begun considering changes to nutrition labels, bringing them to the fore and regulating how the word “healthy” is used on packaging.
However, it is expected to take months or years to implement the changes. Proponents hope the conference will serve as a first step towards future investment and policy change.