President Joe Biden speaks in the East Room of the White House, Feb. 23, 2024, in Washington. AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File

Emhoff announces $1.7B in pledges to help President Biden meet goal of ending hunger by 2030

The new pledges are in addition to $8 billion in commitments announced in September 2022 at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Harlem Globetrotters will partner with KABOOM! to lead a national public awareness campaign on the link between nutrition and physical activity. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina will make nutrition coaching and a healthy food delivery program a standard benefit for members. Sixteen mayors from across the U.S. will create task forces or develop action plans to end hunger and reduce diseases related to diet by 2030.

The initiatives are among more than 140 pledges by health systems, insurance companies, nonprofit groups, philanthropic organizations, local governments and others who are contributing to a White House challenge to end hunger and build healthy communities.

Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, announced the $1.7 billion in new commitments at the White House on Tuesday alongside chef Jose Andres and WNBA player Elena Delle Donne, administration officials and members of Congress. Andres and Delle Donne chair the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition, an advisory body that promotes healthy eating and exercise.

“These efforts, and there’s many more, are going to make a real difference in real lives,” Emhoff said. “They’re going to make a real difference.”

The Globetrotters and KABOOM!, which builds playgrounds in underserved communities, will host events across the country to raise awareness about the importance of good nutrition, the White House said.

The new pledges come on top of $8 billion in commitments announced in September 2022 at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health. At the conference, President Joe Biden announced he had set a goal to end hunger and reduce diet-related diseases by 2030 while reducing health disparities.

Andres, who travels around the world to feed people after natural disasters, said, “I cannot believe we have to have the challenge to end hunger in America.”

About 12.8% of U.S. households, or about 17 million, did not have enough money or other resources to get sufficient food in 2022, according to the Economic Research Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That was up from 10.2% in 2021.

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