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WASHINGTON, D.C., February 27, 2024 — Today, the White House celebrated the first anniversary of its Challenge to End Hunger and Build Healthy Communities with a special event announcing a new roster of commitments to its ambitious goal. 

Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff announced nearly $1.7 billion in new commitments to nutrition, health, and well-being from 141 companies, nonprofits, philanthropic groups, academic institutions, healthcare organizations, and others. FoodCorps is proud to have been an early partner in this effort, dedicating $250 million through its Nourishing Futures initiative to ensure all students have access to food education and nourishing, free school meals by 2030. 

“FoodCorps is inspired to see advocates from across many different sectors come together to champion a healthier world for our kids and communities,” said Dr. Robert S. Harvey, President and Co-CEO of FoodCorps. “This cooperative effort ensures that we will realize our shared goal of a more nourished nation, and we are proud to be part of it.”

At today’s event, the Second Gentleman reiterated the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to a multifaceted approach to health and nutrition, including greater food affordability, access to physical activity, and stronger food security and nutrition research. 

“We just need to connect the dots, make this easier: connect the money with the food to the folks who need it with as little friction as possible,” Emhoff said at the event. 

Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), a longtime champion for child nutrition, described the profound potential of universal free school meals, citing the importance of the program in keeping children fed during the pandemic and beyond. Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA) also spoke about the impacts of permanent free school meals for all in his home state of Massachusetts, as well as the value of investing in updated school kitchen equipment and infrastructure. 

FoodCorps shared a series of policy recommendations in advance of the historic White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in 2022, including placing more food and nutrition educators in schools; free, healthy school meals for all; increased access to locally sourced foods; enabling more scratch-cooked meals through staff training and kitchen upgrades; and greater investments in the school nutrition workforce. The administration included these recommendations in its list of policy priorities. 

“As an organization rooted in justice, we see the powerful potential of nourishing food to right historical wrongs, dismantle systemic inequities, and chart a path toward liberation,” Dr. Harvey said. “FoodCorps’ partnership with the White House is one way we will continue to live our values and climb toward a future where every child knows the joy and power of food.”

FoodCorps is grateful for the support of its funders, partner organizations, community members, and other supporters whose investment in our work brings us closer to realizing our bold vision. We invite you to join the movement for nourishing every kid’s future.

Watch the full White House event below.

About FoodCorps
FoodCorps partners with schools and communities to nourish children’s health, education, and sense of belonging so that every child, in every school, experiences the joy and power of food. Our AmeriCorps members serve alongside educators and school nutrition leaders to provide children with nourishing meals, food education, and culturally affirming experiences with food that celebrate and nurture the whole child. Building on this direct service, FoodCorps advocates for policy change, grows networks, and develops leaders in service of every child’s health and well-being. Our goal is that by 2030, every child will have access to food education and nourishing food in school. 

To learn more about FoodCorps’ work across the country, visit foodcorps.org or follow @foodcorps on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.