WASHINGTON, D.C., September 28, 2022 — Nancy Brown, chief executive of the American Heart Association, issued the following statement in advance of today’s White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, which will bring together stakeholders to focus on addressing food scarcity, nutrition insecurity and insufficient physical activity in ways that can achieve equitable health for all. The administration issued a National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health yesterday in advance of the conference.
“This conference puts a much-needed spotlight on how we can modernize our nation’s approach to provide equitable access to nutritious food and physical activity. The administration’s national strategy released in advance of the conference is a call to action for changing the trajectory of health nationwide by making nutritious food more accessible and affordable while promoting physical activity.
“The American Heart Association has long championed the major initiatives outlined in the national strategy as necessary to ensuring that everyone has an equitable opportunity to live a healthy life. By focusing on food quality in addition to food quantity in our national food programs, ensuring that all students have access to school meals at no cost, advancing ‘food is medicine’ programs that increase access to healthy food among chronic disease patients and expanding multi-sector efforts to encourage physical activity, we will improve health for all.
“We urge governments at all levels to take immediate steps to put the national strategy into action. This includes Congress, which must urgently address the situation faced by millions of students who lost automatic access to nutritious school meals this fall. Congress is long overdue to reauthorize federal child nutrition programs that ensure children have access to the healthy meals they need to learn.
“In July, the House Education and Labor Committee advanced the Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act, but the Senate has yet to act. Providing healthy school meals for students at no charge is a recipe for success that reduces food insecurity, improves children’s diets and academic performance, generates critical revenue for schools and decreases stigma. But the Senate’s inaction would be a recipe for disaster. Lawmakers should act on child nutrition reauthorization and guarantee all students receive healthy school meals at no charge.”
Brown is attending the conference along with teenage advocates Bella Crowe from Benton, Arkansas and Andre Scott, Jr. from Houston, Texas. They represent the Association’s nationwide network of advocates who are working to bring attention to the critical issues of child nutrition and healthy school meals for all. The American Heart Association is the world’s leading voluntary organization focused on heart and brain health.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
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