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Watch Party for White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, Health Sept. 28 at UW

September 22, 2022

A watch party for the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health is scheduled throughout the day Wednesday, Sept. 28, at the University of Wyoming College of Agriculture, Life Sciences and Natural Resources.

Participants from the campus community can view the conference in Room 240 of the Agriculture Building during three separate sessions: from 7-8 a.m.; 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.; and 2:45-3:55 p.m. Light snacks will be provided.

UW campus and Laramie community members also can sign up to view the live conference from any location. More information is available by clicking here.

The Biden-Harris administration is hosting the White House event that focuses on ending hunger and increasing healthy eating and physical activity by 2030 so that fewer Americans experience diet-related diseases, such as diabetes, obesity and hypertension.

Millions of Americans are afflicted with food insecurity and diet-related diseases, which are some of the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S.

The toll of hunger and these diseases is not distributed equally, disproportionately impacting underserved communities, including communities of color, people living in rural areas, people who are differently abled, older adults, LGBTQI+ people, military families and military veterans, according to the event’s website. Lack of access to healthy, safe and affordable food, and to safe outdoor spaces, contributes to hunger, diet-related diseases and health disparities. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these challenges further.

“The topics of hunger, nutrition and health impact all of us,” says Jill Fabricius Keith, a UW Department of Family and Consumer Sciences human nutrition and food/dietetics associate professor. “Many of our programs on campus prepare future health and education professionals to address challenges related to hunger, nutrition and health. Hunger and nutrition, as influences on health, are especially important to think about, as there are a variety of health consequences from malnutrition and food insecurity.”

It has been more than 50 years since the first and only White House Conference on Food, Nutrition and Health was held in 1969.

“Essential nutrition assistance programs that we know today – such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the National School Lunch Program -- were created and expanded when this conference was last held in the 1960s,” says Megan McGuffey Skinner, UW’s director for the Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics. “It is exciting and important that our UW students are able to engage with a conference that has so many national policy implications.” 

The UW Food Security Task Force, a coalition of students, staff, faculty and administrators, is responding to the needs of UW students. According to the task force, 37 percent to 45 percent of the student population experiences food insecurity.

More information on the task force can be found at www.uwyo.edu/food-security/.

UW’s Vice President for Student Affairs office, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, Food Share Pantry and the SOAR Program sponsor the watch party for the White House conference, along with the Student Dietetic Association and Phi Upsilon Omicron, both recognized UW student organizations.

For more information, email Fabricius Keith at jkeith5@uwyo.edu.

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