COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Taking action against hunger was the mission of the Biden administration’s Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health.
More than 50 years ago, the goal of addressing hunger was addressed at a summit hosted by the Nixon administration, which led to Americans gaining food stamps and WIC.
On Wednesday, President Joe Biden laid out his plan to address food insecurity in the United States, which comes with a pricey commitment from private companies and a commitment by one technology company to help the City of Columbus.
Biden said his administration is on a mission, with the goal of eliminating hunger by the year 2030.
The five-pillar system laid out by the administration not only addresses food availability, but also the role of food insecurity in overall health, food affordability, and increasing physical activity.
“The sheer occurrence of a conference focused around improving the health of our communities through addressing hunger and seeking to end hunger is really momentous,” said Mike Hochron, senior vice president of communications for Mid-Ohio Food Collective. “You know, our work is focused around building hunger-free and healthier communities.”
Hochron said his agency played a role in the development of the administration’s plan, contributing statements and firsthand accounts related to food insecurity.
“One of the things that was important in the conference was featuring the lived experience of people who had previously or currently are dealing with food insecurity,” he said.
Agencies like Mid-Ohio could soon see aid from nearly $8 billion in commitments from private companies. One of those companies, DoorDash, has listed Columbus as one of 18 cities it is partnering with to reduce hunger.
According to a press release, DoorDash will support these cities in their efforts to broaden food access by providing $1 million in community credit, gift cards, data on local food access needs, and direct funding for in-kind delivery of charitable food.
It’s a move Hochron said has the potential to not only expand the food bank’s reach, but the reach of other central Ohio neighborhoods.
“We know that with our Mid-Ohio markets, even with those expanded hours, if someone’s working multiple jobs, has kids, mobility challenges, whatever it may be, the ability to get food to people where and when they need, it is just so important,” he said.
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther released the following statement on Columbus being named in DoorDash’s program, saying, in part:
“We are excited to join with the Biden Administration and cities across the country in expanding our approach to reducing food insecurity. In the coming weeks, we’ll be working with the team at DoorDash to determine exactly what kinds and levels of support are best for Columbus. Once those details are finalized, we will collaborate with our community partners to get these resources into the hands of our residents and help solve hunger in central Ohio.”
For more information on the Mid-Ohio Food Collective, click here.
On Thursday from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., NBC4 will hold a Call 4 event for members of the community. During that time, you will be able to sign up to volunteer with the Mid-Ohio Food Collective.