White House Challenge to End Hunger and Build Healthy Communities

As a continuation of the work started at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, the Biden-Harris Administration is launching the White House Challenge to End Hunger and Build Healthy Communities. Through this Challenge, the Administration is encouraging stakeholders across all sectors of society to make bold and impactful commitments that will allow us to collectively achieve the goal the President set out: end hunger and increase healthy eating and physical activity by 2030 so fewer Americans experience diet-related diseases – all while reducing disparities.

Actions taken under the Challenge will help drive progress in implementing the National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. The Challenge also builds off the success of the first call to action the Administration made and the commitments that were announced at the Conference.

Watch the Challenge kickoff event hosted on March 24, 2023.

See Frequently Asked Questions here.

Want to get your community engaged? Check out the White House Challenge Community Action Toolkit.

Participate in the Challenge

By participating in the challenge, organizations (large or small; public or private) and communities are encouraged to commit to one or more of the following areas across the five pillars of the National Strategy: 

Pillar 1: Improve Food Access and Affordability

  • Support school food programs.
    • Food companies are encouraged to support student’s health by developing foods that are more nutritious and affordable for school nutrition programs.
    • States or philanthropic groups should consider investing in kitchen equipment and recruitment and training of school food professionals to support schools in preparing even healthier meals. States can also streamline access to free school meals for more children by encouraging uptake of the Community Eligibility Provision.
  • Ensure kids have access to nutritious meals in the summer.
    • Private companies, philanthropic groups, states, localities, territories, and Tribal governments, health care providers, and others should consider raising awareness and promoting participation in USDA’s new summer meal options. Additional activities can include building upon the non-congregate meal program to deliver fresh foods, implementing grab-and-go pickup, and launching coordinated campaigns to help parents understand all their summer meal options and participate in them more easily.
  • Reduce barriers to participation and involve community members in the design and implementation of federal assistance programs.
    • States are encouraged to make it easier for eligible households to access federal assistance programs by lengthening recertification intervals, waiving in-person requirements, and other evidence-backed changes.
    • States, localities, and territories should consider involving community members, especially federal assistance beneficiaries, in the design and implementation of those programs.
    • States and localities should consider investing in state agency operations and staffing, along with community-based partnerships, to reach and support those who are eligible and enrolled in federal programs such as SNAP.

Pillar 2: Integrate Nutrition and Health

  • Invest in health-related social needs, including increasing food security screenings and expanding nutrition services.
    • Health insurance companies should consider expanding coverage of nutrition services and encouraging providers and patients to talk about nutrition and physical activity. They should also consider partnering with retailers and independent grocers to make healthy food, like fruits and vegetables, more available at a lower cost through efforts such as produce prescription programs.
    • Health care providers are encouraged to screen patients for food and nutrition insecurity, to refer them to resources, and to talk to them about their nutrition and physical activity so patients have the tools they need to stay healthy.
    • Hospitals and health care providers should consider working with local groups and community-based organizations to help reduce hospital admissions or readmissions by offering medically-tailored meals and other nutrition services. They can also hire staff to help patients enroll in federal assistance programs like SNAP to provide more comprehensive care.
    • States are encouraged to use Medicaid funding, including Medicaid waivers, to implement innovative ways to pay health care providers to help their patients make healthy food choices, including by helping make healthy foods more available to people with chronic conditions, like diabetes.
  • Strengthen health professionals’ education in nutrition and physical activity.
    • Health professional training schools and organizations are encouraged to teach future health care professionals how to help their patients make healthy food choices and be more physically active and how to screen them for food and nutrition insecurity and refer them to resources.

Pillar 3: Empower All Consumers to Make and Have Access to Healthy Choices

  • Create environments that support healthier choices.
    • Retailers and other members of the food industry are encouraged to make the healthy choice the easy choice by marketing and placing nutritious foods in easy to find areas – online and in stores.
    • Food manufacturers and retailers should consider evaluating how healthy their product portfolios are and setting benchmarks to offer more nutritious foods and beverages and increase the sales of them.
    • Investors are encouraged to consider how they can incorporate nutrition into Environmental, Social, and Governance investment standards.
    • States, localities, and territories can offer more healthy options, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, in their own facilities by adopting the Federal Food Service Guidelines
  • Bolster local food procurement.
    • States, localities, and territories are encouraged to increase the amount of local foods they procure and serve in their buildings. They can also support their communities’ local food systems, including supporting Tribal and local, Native American-owned producers.

Pillar 4: Support Physical Activity for All

  • Offer more opportunities to be physically active in communities.
    • Private companies, philanthropic groups, states and localities should consider building safer sidewalks and outdoor spaces where people can be active; building and creating more equal access to parks; and refurbishing community and senior centers so people have safe, nearby places to be active.
  • Provide comprehensive physical activity programs in schools.
    • Private companies and philanthropic groups should consider training Physical Education (PE) teachers to help implement national PE standards and support youth in being physically active; and providing financial and technical support to schools, such as through the Presidential Youth Fitness Program.
    • States, local educational agencies, and school administrators are encouraged to support children’s wellness by investing in professional development of PE teachers; committing more time to PE including before or after school; and using evidence-based strategies that are equitable, accessible, and inclusive such as traditional Tribal sports or games.

Pillar 5: Enhance Nutrition and Food Security Research

  • Fill nutrition research gaps to continue to support the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
    • Academic institutions, research foundations, and philanthropic groups are encouraged to invest in research on the diet and health of older adults, during pregnancy, and birth to 24 months; to invest in longitudinal studies on dietary exposures and interactions with health outcomes throughout life stages; and to better understand nutritional needs across underserved populations, including Native Americans, to advance health equity.
    • Tech companies should consider developing more accurate tools to assess diets.
  • Build the evidence-base and translate it into action to improve access to federal assistance programs.
    • Academic institutions, research foundations, and philanthropic groups should consider studying strategies states, localities, and the federal government can take to improve access to federal assistance programs by reducing administrative burden.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate in the Challenge?

Everyone is welcome to participate in the Challenge. Some examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Food industry (including manufacturers, distributors, retailers, grocers, restaurants, and food delivery companies, and others) 
  • Health care industry (including insurance companies and providers, and others) 
  • Fitness companies (including outdoor recreational companies, athletic equipment and apparel companies, and others) 
  • Advertising and marketing companies 
  • Technology companies 
  • Transportation (including car and mobility service providers, bus and charter companies, and others) 
  • Non-profit organizations (including advocacy, consumer, and public health groups, and others) 
  • Philanthropic organizations 
  • Trade associations 
  • State/local/territory/Tribal (SLTT) governments 
  • Schools and universities 
  • Community-based and neighborhood organizations 
  • Youth groups

Individuals and communities interested in getting engaged can use this toolkit.

What kinds of commitments should people consider making to participate in the Challenge?

The Administration encourages everyone to make a commitment in one of the areas listed above. You are encouraged to make commitments that:

  • Are big and bold (e.g., result in systemic, long-term change and meaningfully move the dial to end hunger and reducing diet-related diseases); 
  • Help eliminate disparities and support individuals and communities that are most impacted by hunger and diet-related diseases; 
  • Are innovative and test new models;  
  • Scale up evidence-based strategies to a national level; and  
  • Go beyond what the federal government can do

What are some examples of past commitments?

The Administration announced more than $8 billion of commitments at the White House Conference on September 28, 2022. Read the White House Conference fact sheet and Challenge fact sheet detailing the new actions that business, civic, academic, and philanthropic leaders are taking to end hunger and reduce diet-related diseases.

Can I still participate in the Challenge if I am interested in making make a commitment that is outside the areas listed above?

Yes. While we particularly encourage commitments in the areas listed above, we will consider all commitments that will help us achieve the President’s goal of ending hunger and reducing diet-related diseases by 2030 – all while reducing disparities. We particularly encourage.

How are commitments that were announced at the White House Conference being tracked?

The Administration is working with the CDC Foundation to help track progress of the commitments announced at the White House Conference. Read the fact sheet that summarizes the progress to date. 

What is the deadline for submitting a commitment?

Commitments should be submitted to the CDC Foundation no later than August 18, 2023.

How will the stakeholders that participate in the Challenge be highlighted?

The Administration looks forward to announcing Challenge participants in the fall of 2023.