Counties Welcome White House Focus on Hunger, Nutrition
WASHINGTON — The National Association of Counties (NACo) this week applauded the White House announcement of a conference on food, nutrition, hunger and health – the first of its kind since 1969.
In a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, NACo Executive Director Matthew Chase wrote:
“County governments play a critical role as public service providers for America’s citizens, and we thank you for your leadership in supporting us in this capacity.
“County governments are steadfastly committed to protecting our residents’ health, safety and quality of life, including by ensuring they can access the nutritious food they need to thrive.
“As a nation, we can and must do more to ensure no family has to wonder where its next meal is coming from, and county governments are uniquely positioned to help inform and implement national policies to accomplish this goal.”
Counties often play an instrumental role developing, administering and supporting food and nutrition programs at the local level. For example:
- Ten states, accounting for nearly a third of total program participants, delegate the administration of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to county governments.
- More than half of the nation’s Area Agencies on Aging, which work to address senior hunger, function as part of, or with the support of, county governments.
- Counties support federal child nutrition programs, such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), with nearly half of local WIC agencies functioning as part of a local government.
Click here to read the full letter.