The Task Force on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health (Task Force) — an independent group of national leaders and experts convened by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Food Systems for the Future, the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, and World Central Kitchen — publicly released its comprehensive Report to inform the upcoming White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health — the first conference of its kind held since 1969. On Wednesday, Aug. 31, the Task Force Co-Chairs will host a public webinar on the Report and its critical recommendations.
The Report has been shared with the White House and is now being publicly released. It contains 30 high-priority policy recommendations, undergirded by more than 200 specific actions for the federal agencies, Congress, and other stakeholders, to end hunger, advance nutrition, and reduce diet-related conditions in the United States. The Report also includes 12 recommended actions and commitments for the private sector to support these goals.
Among the goals and recommendations relative to older adults are:
- Congress should reduce lengthy waitlists and eliminate meal cost sharing within Meals on Wheels by increasing federal funding to expand access to all eligible, home-bound older adults who are unable to prepare or afford nutritious meals. Non-eligible household members should be allowed to purchase meals to create opportunities for communal and family meals.
- Health and Human Services (HHS) should issue clear guidance to Meals on Wheels providers on ways to meet the dietary needs of older adults.
- USDA should decrease administrative and regulatory burdens on states to engage in the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) and ensure prompt review of new state applicants. USDA should also work to incentivize diverse restaurant participation in RMP to increase nutritious options available to RMP-eligible individuals, including older adults and people with disabilities and/or who are unhoused.
- Nonprofit hospitals should leverage Community Needs Assessments and Community Benefit Programs required by the Affordable Care Act to support nutrition programs like summer meals, farmers’ markets, senior nutrition programs, and community nutrition education or to support local food hubs and food policy councils.
For more information, see the full report here.