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Biden sets goal to end U.S. hunger by 2030, planning a White House summit

Philadelphia Inquirer

May 4, 2022

With a goal of ending hunger in America by 2030, President Joe Biden announced Wednesday his intent to hold a White House summit on hunger in September, only the second in U.S. history.

The first White House summit on hunger was held in 1969 under President Richard Nixon. Considered a pivotal event, it led to the creation of federal nutrition programs such as SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program formerly known as food stamps), school meals, and WIC (Special Supplemental Feeding Program for Women, Infants and Children).

While local hunger expert Mariana Chilton said she’s “thrilled” that the White House is committing to a national strategy to end hunger in eight years, she’d like to see the summit fashioned in a particular way.

The Biden administration should “insist on and codify in the U.S. Constitution that everyone has the right to be free from hunger, and that food is a fundamental human right,” said Chilton, director of the Center for Hunger-Free Communities at Drexel University’s Dornsife School of Public Health. She pointed out that more than 20 countries — including South Africa and Brazil — include the right to be free from hunger in their constitutions.

Chilton added that any national strategy to end hunger must be “transparent, inclusive, and accountable to the U.S. public.”

She concluded that “we will know if the U.S. government and the Biden administration are serious about ending hunger if people who’ve experienced food insecurity are invited to lead the vast majority of the discussions.” If, on the other hand, large multinational corporations are invited to sponsor and headline the event, Chilton said, “we will know they’re not serious.”

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