By: Alex Vigil
As the seasons change and the calendar turns to October, we take time to reflect on how successful Hunger Action Month was in the fight to end hunger. Nobody should have to choose between food and other basic needs like medicine or electricity and meaningful progress was made towards the noble goal of eliminating nutrition security in California and beyond.
White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health
It’s been more half a century since the first and only White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Health was held in 1969. That pivotal event helped galvanize actions that included the creation of life changing programs like school lunches, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and changes to how we label foods.
The 2022 White House Conference, held on September 28, catalyzed the public and private sectors around a coordinated strategy to accelerate progress and drive transformative change in the U.S. to end hunger, improve nutrition and physical activity, and close the disparities surrounding them. The strategy was organized around five key pillars:
The Conference’s pillars have strong alignment to the Let’s Eat Healthy Initiative’s strategic framework and allow Dairy Council of California to bring partners’ with shared goals to the table with these similar tenants. Further proving that solving complex problems require collaboration at all levels.
World School Milk Day 2022
Also on September 28th this year, World School Milk Day allowed Dairy Council of California to emphasize school milk’s role as a solution to hunger and nutrition security. As a whole, minimally processed food, dairy milk brings significant value to school meals. Milk and dairy foods’ unique package of nutrients, including vitamin D, calcium and protein, help to bridge the nutrient gaps that currently exist in children’s diets.1 This contribution is important to all children, but especially those in marginalized and underserved communities who are already struggling to access healthy foods.
During the 2022-23 school year, California implemented the nation’s first statewide Universal Meals program, which ensures all students, regardless of socioeconomic status, are eligible to receive a free nutritious breakfast and lunch each school day. 2 Programs like this can help achieve nutrition security by increasing students’ access to nutritious foods, like milk, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein, to support optimal growth and development.
World School Milk Day Events Across California
Dairy Council of California had numerous events throughout the Golden State on September 28 including:
The Fight to End Hunger Continues
Dairy Council of California is committed to finding collaborative solutions to help end hunger in California and beyond. We thank all of those engaging with their local communities to make a difference on an issue that affects all individuals, consuming and accessing highly nutritious and affordable foods such as milk and dairy. As we look to the future, we are encouraged by the focus at the national-level with events such as the White House Conference and will continue to help the most vulnerable California communities achieve nutrition security through nutrition education, access to culturally relevant nutrient dense foods and environments that support optimal health. You can be a part of the solution by joining the Let’s Eat Healthy Initiative, improving the lives of Californians through collaboration.
Alex brings over a decade of marketing expertise to his role as Director of Marketing and Digital Programs.
Dairy Council of California invites you to join the global celebration on World School Milk Day!
The Let’s Eat Healthy initiative welcomes the opportunity to collaborate, co-create and implement wellness strategies to create collective impact.