Counties Welcome White House Focus on Hunger, Nutrition

On May 4, a White House Conference on Hunger, Health and Nutrition was announced and scheduled for September 2022 in Washington, D.C. 

This week, The National Association of Counties (NACo) applauded the White House announcement of a conference on food, nutrition, hunger, and health – the first of its kind since 1969. The Conference will convene anti-hunger and nutrition advocates, food companies, the health care community, state and local governments, and people with lived experiences.

In a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, NACo Executive Director Matthew Chase wrote:

County governments play a critical role as public service providers for America’s citizens, and we thank you for your leadership in supporting us in this capacity…County governments are steadfastly committed to protecting our residents’ health, safety and quality of life, including by ensuring they can access the nutritious food they need to thrive….As a nation, we can and must do more to ensure no family has to wonder where its next meal is coming from, and county governments are uniquely positioned to help inform and implement national policies to accomplish this goal.

Counties play an important role in addressing and implementing food and nutrition access at the local level. NACo drew attention to national statistics illustrating county involvement in their press release:

Ten states, accounting for nearly a third of total program participants, delegate the administration of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to county governments.

More than half of the nation’s Area Agencies on Aging, which work to address senior hunger, function as part of, or with the support of, county governments.

Counties support federal child nutrition programs, such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), with nearly half of local WIC agencies functioning as part of a local government.

The White House announcement can be viewed by playing the video below:

Read NACo’s full letter to Secretary Becerra.
Read NACo’s full press release.
Learn more about the conference on NACo’s blog.