WASHINGTON, DC –Women Advancing Nutrition Dietetics and Agriculture (WANDA) fully supports the second-ever White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health. Later this year in September, the White House will hold the Conference as part of an effort to end hunger and increase healthy eating and physical activity by 2030. The Conference will focus on addressing five main issues: ending hunger, improving nutrition, improving physical activity, reducing diet-related illnesses, and closing disparity gaps by 2030.
“We’ll bring together anti-hunger and nutrition advocates, food companies, local and state governments, and tribal and territory communities to lay out our plan to combat hunger and improve nutrition for every American,” President Biden states in his announcement.
As part of WANDA Week (June 16 to June 25), WANDA in partnership with the NAACP DC Branch, the largest and most active branch in the country, will be hosting an hour-long listening session with community stakeholders on Tuesday, July 21st to hear the lived experiences and innovative solutions to improve food and nutrition inequity in this country.
The feedback will be shared with the Biden-Harris Administration who is seeking input to develop and implement a national strategy, which is a fantastic opportunity for programs like EFNEP, SNAP-Ed and new ideas to be seen and heard on the national stage.
The last time there was an overhaul of food and nutrition policy was in 1969 when President Richard Nixon and USDA Secretary Ed Butz were in office. Prior to that year Dr. King and Robert Kennedy were assassinated, and the landmark Civil Rights legislation passed though the initial focus was human rights. The nation was grappling with widespread hunger in America. Chairing the Conference was Dr. Jean Mayer — a leading nutrition scientist and the president of Tufts University.
“This will be a defining moment for generations to come. Imagine who had a seat at the table in 1969 and see our current food system. So if we want a different plan we must include different stakeholders. That’s where WANDA enters,” says Tambra Stevenson, Founder and CEO, WANDA. “We bring insightful knowledge and lived experiences of the women of color from our communities and across the food system that were not at the table in 1969.”
We need to modernize nutrition security in this country using an equity lens.
The 1969 conference created the current U.S. food policy framework such as expanding the National School Lunch Program and the Food Stamp Program (now SNAP), creating the School Breakfast Program and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and nutrition labeling. That era set the stage for soybean, wheat and corn commodities, agrochemicals, macronutrients and calories compared to micronutrients, specialty crops, regenerative agriculture and regional food systems.
That’s why WANDA plans to have a seat at the table to address the critical blind spots missed in creating an inclusive food system from research to practice.
When Senator Booker introduction the bipartisan, bicameral legislation, WANDA was one of the organizations to endorse the convening. And this Spring, WANDA stood on the steps with Rep. McGovern and Sen. Booker along with fellow nutrition and hunger advocates when $2.5 million was secured to fund the bill. Now the real work begins this summer.
Founded on International Women’s Day in 2016, Women Advancing Nutrition, Dietetics and Agriculture (WANDA) is on a mission to build a movement of 1 million women and girls of African descent to lead as food sheroes through education, advocacy, and innovation. Based in Washington, DC WANDA is a Black women-led social justice 501c3 nonprofit organization composed of women leaders, advocates and entrepreneurs working to strengthen our families, communities, and economies by transforming our food system. We transform our lives and our families through #foodfortheculture. Learn more at http://iamwanda.org.
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