WASHINGTON, Sept. 12, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — On September 12th, women leaders convene in Washington, D.C., to discuss “Rethinking Our Approach to Hunger,” spotlighting the pressing issue of food and nutrition insecurity in the U.S. at the National Food Policy Conference during Hunger Action Month.
An alarming 34 million Americans, including over 9 million children, grapple with food insecurity, leading to higher rates of diet-related diseases and developmental issues. Key factors include encompassing low wages, childcare unavailability, and systemic racism.
Dr. Caree Cotwright, Director of Nutrition Security and Health Equity at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will moderate the panel, featuring key voices: Tambra Raye Stevenson of Women Advancing Nutrition Dietetics and Agriculture (WANDA), Nancy Dalton from Amazon, and Rucha Gadre of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA).
Thomas Gremillion of the Consumer Federation of America notes the discussion’s timeliness amidst surging food prices and diminished hunger aid. “The conversation that Nancy, Caree, Rucha, and Tambra spark will resonate long past September 12,” he said.
Panelist Tambra Raye Stevenson, MPH, MA, CEO of WANDA, advocates for a “Food Bill of Rights,” emphasizes the role of women, democracy, and technology in ensuring nutrition security as part of national security.
“To rethink hunger in America, we have to rethink our investments in the people, policies, and programs to achieve a truly nutrition-secure nation,” shares Stevenson.
Rucha Gadre, Food Security Director of NJEDA highlights the economic roots of food insecurity, tying it to low wages and systemic barriers that disadvantage specific communities. Commitment to fund programs ensuring access to quality food remains a priority for her organization.
“Food insecurity has economic root causes. It’s been linked to low wages, adverse social and economic conditions, limited access to healthy foods, and many other factors contributing to disadvantaging certain neighborhoods,” says Gadre.
Amazon’s Nancy Dalton, Head of Marketing and Community Partnerships, underscores the need to address the root causes of hunger, calling for robust collaboration across sectors. Amazon Access’s grassroots program, she mentioned, gathers insights from diverse communities, informing product design like the SNAP EBT acceptance to boost access to nutritious food.
“To effectively address hunger, we must start with the root causes of hunger, which span across the social determinants of health. Sustainable solutions require strong public and private collaboration and community engagement,” says Dalton.
With hunger issues becoming more pressing, this panel aims to set the stage for innovative solutions and actionable change.
About Women Advancing Nutrition Dietetics and Agriculture:
Founded in 2016, Women and Girls Advancing Nutrition Dietetics and Agriculture (WANDA) is a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. WANDA is dedicated to empowering women and girls of African descent to become food sheroes in their communities through education, advocacy, and innovation. To learn more, visit iamwanda.org.
About the Consumer Federation of America:
The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is an association of non-profit consumer organizations established in 1968 to advance consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. Today, nearly 300 of these groups participate in the federation and govern it through their representatives on the organization’s Board of Directors. CFA is a research, advocacy, education, and service organization.
SOURCE WANDA: Women Advancing Nutrition Dietetics and Agriculture