Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing the White House Challenge to End Hunger and Build Healthy Communities. The Challenge is a nationwide call-to-action to stakeholders across all of society to make bold commitments to advance President Biden’s goal to end hunger and reduce diet-related diseases by 2030—all while reducing disparities. Several organizations and companies are already participating in the Challenge by announcing new commitments today. The Challenge builds on the success of the $8 billion package of private and public sector commitments that the Administration announced as part of the historic White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in September 2022, and complements the Biden-Harris Administration’s work to implement the National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health.
Today, the Biden-Harris Administration will also announce two new actions it is taking under the Strategy. The Administration will issue draft guidance that offers food manufacturers recommendations on how and when they can use Dietary Guidance Statements on food labels to help inform consumers about their products and how they can contribute to a nutritious diet. It will also issue a proposed rule that, if finalized, would help reduce sodium in the food supply. The rule would provide flexibility for food manufacturers to use safe and suitable salt substitutes in foods like cheese and canned vegetables—many foods already can and do use salt substitutes.
White House Challenge to End Hunger and Build Healthy Communities
To help secure a healthier future for all Americans, the Biden-Harris Administration launched the White House Challenge to End Hunger and Build Healthy Communities. Organizations—big or small, public or private—and communities are encouraged to participate by making bold and impactful commitments in one or more of the following areas across the five pillars of the National Strategy.
- PILLAR 1: Improve food access and affordability by supporting school food programs; ensuring kids have access to nutritious meals in the summer; and reducing barriers to participation and involving community members in the design and implementation of federal assistance programs.
- PILLAR 2: Integrate nutrition and health by investing in health-related social needs, including conducting more screenings for food insecurity and offering nutrition services; and better educating health professionals about how to help their patients make healthy food choices and be more physically active.
- PILLAR 3: Empower all consumers to make and have access to healthier choices by creating environments that support healthier choices and bolstering local food procurement.
- PILLAR 4: Support physical activity for all by offering more opportunities to be physically active in communities and supporting comprehensive physical activity programs in schools.
- PILLAR 5: Enhance nutrition and food security research by filling nutrition research gaps to continue supporting the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and building the evidence-base to improve federal assistance programs.
The Administration will work with the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition, co-chaired by Chef José Andrés and Elena Delle Donne, to help cultivate commitments, and will announce Challenge participants in the fall of 2023. Several companies, non-profits, philanthropic groups, and local elected-officials are already stepping up:
- DOHMEN COMPANY FOUNDATION: Dohmen Company Foundation will invest $60 million to create and launch the Dohmen Impact Investment Fund to accelerate the growth and impact of five to ten for-profit social enterprises advancing proven food solutions that improve human health with the goal of making healthy eating ubiquitous. The Fund’s profits will go to charitable giving and public awareness campaigns to strengthen the food and nutrition ecosystem and accelerate a national movement to eliminate diet-related disease.
- DOORDASH: By 2025, DoorDash will make healthy choices easier by growing the availability of produce in its marketplace by partnering with local, regional and national grocers across the U.S. and increasing the amount of healthy products available in DashMarts. DoorDash will also help keep healthy options at the top of mind for consumers by promoting and highlighting healthy products on its platform such as through tags, filters, and more options. Additionally, DoorDash will work with USDA to offer access to SNAP EBT grocery delivery in all 50 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico by 2025.
- EAT.LEARN.PLAY: Eat.Learn.Play, in partnership with KABOOM!, will remodel 6 schoolyards in 2023 at Oakland Unified School District campuses that also serve surrounding neighborhoods. Eat.Learn.Play. is ensuring Oakland students and families have safe and high-quality schoolyards for active play, working with Sport Court to create state-of-the-art multi-sport courts, and building kid-designed play structures, garden beds, outdoor classrooms, reading areas, murals, and more.
- INSTACART: In the next six months, Instacart will:
- Partner with Boston Children’s Hospital and at least four other major health care providers across the U.S. to create virtual food pharmacies and other food is medicine interventions using Instacart Health products. Instacart will also offer to build custom virtual store fronts for any hospital or health system in the country to help providers educate and inspire patients to make better food choices.
- Introduce an industry-first online advertising capability to enable advertisements of fresh produce that is sold by weight (e.g., fresh oranges, bananas, and broccoli). This will allow fresh, weighted produce to be prominently placed front and center on the digital grocery platform and help consumers discover more fresh and nutritious options.
- Launch four new studies with researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital; University of Kentucky; University at Buffalo; and the Stanford Cancer Institute, Food for Health Equity Lab at Stanford Medicine, and the University of California, San Francisco’s Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center to study the impact of nutrition security interventions and food is medicine services on different patient groups, including individuals living with low incomes.
- KABOOM!: KABOOM! will work with at least one new funding partner to form a multi-year partnership to build at least 30 additional playgrounds over the next three years in communities that disproportionally have less access to playspaces, including communities of color that are more likely to experience disinvestment in infrastructure and community spaces.
- MAYOR GILES (MESA, AZ), MAYOR NIRENBERG, (SAN ANTONIO, TX), and MAYOR COGNETTI (SCRANTON, PA): Mayors Giles, Nirenberg, and Cognetti will each create and launch a Task Force in their city by end of summer 2023 to focus on implementing the goals of the National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. The Task Forces will identify opportunities for local action in alignment with the National Strategy, encourage state and county participation when warranted, and develop a Blueprint to end hunger and increase healthy eating and physical activity by 2030 for each city by incorporating a breadth of input from leaders across sectors.
Actions to End Hunger and Reduce Diet-related Diseases
The Challenge builds on the Biden-Harris Administration’s success over the last six months in implementing the National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition and Health. In addition to today’s actions, the Administration has:
- Secured a permanent, nationwide Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) program and non-congregate meal options for children in rural areas in the Fiscal Year 2023 omnibus budget agreement. As the first new major child nutrition program to be permanently authorized in almost 50 years, Summer EBT represents a significant expansion of federal efforts to meet the nutritional needs of children in the summer.
- Approved ground-breaking Medicaid section 1115 demonstration initiatives in Massachusetts, Oregon, Arizona, and Arkansas to test coverage of services such as evidenced-based nutritional assistance and medically tailored meals.
- Issued proposed rules to make school meals even healthier and expand access to free meals to more students; remove barriers to use WIC online and update nutrition standards for the WIC food package; and update when a food package can claim it is “healthy.”
- Awarded over $1 billion through grants and cooperative agreements across federal agencies to fund nearly 800 projects nationwide to help improve access to food, promote healthy choices, and increase physical activity. We have also announced nearly $1 billion in additional funding to be awarded in the near future.
- The President’s Fiscal Year 2024 budget builds on this progress by proposing to expand free, healthy school meals to 9 million more children; expand and enhance Medicare and Medicaid coverage of nutrition and obesity counseling; bolster nutrition and food labeling work to empower consumers to make healthy food choices; invest in CDC’s State Physical Activity and Nutrition Program nationwide; and build the foundation for evidence-based policies through nutrition research.
Achieving President Biden’s goals of ending hunger and reducing diet-related diseases by 2030 will require more than just the resources of the federal government. Many of the business, civic, academic, and philanthropic leaders that stepped up with commitments at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health are also making strong progress in implementing their actions. Since September 2022, these leaders have reported serving over 9.4 million meals, investing $2.4 million directly into communities, and raising nearly $40 million to support bringing their commitments to fruition. For example:
- BENEFITS DATA TRUST released their toolkit to help higher education institutions identify college students eligible for public benefit programs like SNAP, Medicaid, and the new Affordable Connectivity Program.
- BOSTON MEDICAL CENTER invested $1.4 million to open a local, minority-owned, healthy food market in a new affordable housing development this spring.
- MEIJER enabled over 820,000 SNAP beneficiaries to purchase fruits and vegetables at a 10% discount.
- NATIONAL GROCERS ASSOCIATION FOUNDATION received a $5 million grant to help grocers participate in SNAP online which will greatly accelerate their work toward increasing online SNAP participation for retailers.
- SHIPT launched their innovative new accelerator program, LadderUp, to provide 10 local retailers with capital, e-commerce focused technical assistance, and education from industry leaders, with program participation aiming for at least 50% being in the food, beverage, and grocery categories, and 50% of businesses being owned by people of color and LGBTQI+ people.