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White House to address nationwide hunger, nutrition with 1st food insecurity conference in 50 years

The White House has announced it will host a special conference in September focused on ending hunger and improving nutrition nationwide, CNN reports Wednesday. 

The last president to convene such an event was former President Richard Nixon, who hosted the White House Conference on Food, Nutrition and Health in 1969. That gathering over 50 years ago brought about many notable policies, including the school lunch program, food stamp expansion, and improved nutrition labeling.

News of this year's conference arrives as grocery prices continue to soar and supply chains remained snarled, further exacerbating food insecurity and making it even more difficult for already-struggling Americans to get what they need at the store, CNN writes. And the war in Ukraine is only making things worse.

The White House hopes this year's event will result in a plan that lowers nationwide rates of diabetes, obesity, and hypertension, and helps with efforts to end hunger.

Advocates as well as a representatives from food companies, the health care world, and local and state governments are all exepcted to attend.

"Too many families don't know where they're going to get their next meal," President Biden said while announcing the meeting. The pandemic served as a "a stark reminder of the need for urgent, sustained action. As more Americans experienced hunger we saw diet-related diseases heighten the risk of severe COVID. It's time we make real change."