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Inside Eat Real’s White House Commitment to End Hunger & Build Healthy Communities

Inside Eat Real’s White House Commitment to End Hunger & Build Healthy Communities

Nora LaTorre, CEO at Eat Real pictured with Chef José Andres and Natalie Haynes, Executive Director at Vitamix

Last Tuesday was an exciting moment for us, being invited by the White House to join their Challenge to End Hunger & Build Healthy Communities. We feel lucky to be one of the ambitious organizations, corporations, academia, and local municipalities who were selected to participate.

The Challenge builds on the historic White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health hosted by President Biden in September 2022, where a National Strategy was released to end hunger, reduce diet-related diseases by improving healthy eating and physical activity, and eliminate disparities by 2030.

Source: White House Office of Public Engagement

In addition to government policies, a big part of that strategy is catalyzing the public and private sectors to address the intersections between food, hunger, nutrition, and health. Hence the call for commitments. We were one of only 141 cross-sector initiatives selected. Here is the summary of ours: 

By 2025, Eat Real will expand its award-winning K-12 certification program to help school districts optimize $1 BILLION of their cafeteria budgets toward delicious, nutrient-dense, culturally relevant, and planet-sustaining food. This translates into helping ONE MILLION children across the United States gain access to healthier meals. We will partner 100 health-focused philanthropists, foundations, and corporations to achieve this bold vision.

During the announcement ceremony, we heard inspiring stories and passionate calls to action from Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Olympic medalist and member of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition Chaunte Lowe, US Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, and founder of the Global Food Institute, Chef José Andrés, among others. Here are a few of our favorite quotes:

“Let food unify our country.” —Secretary Vilsack

“It is the right of every single child in America — and the world — to eat. We are doing our part, putting boots on the ground. We have little eyes watching us and what we do.” —Chaunte Lowe

“Healthy food is medicine.” —Senator Stabenow

“Let’s share how the power of food can make America better. We give people respect with smart policies that reach every corner of the country.”  —Chef José Andrés

Source: DNO Produce

During the application process, it was gratifying to see that the White House’s first pillar — Improve Food Access and Affordability — is so central to what our K-12 school food program already achieves. Our model for community-driven change helps school foodservice directors transform their menus in two years or less, providing every single child in their district with access to nutritious, delicious, planet-sustaining food. 

Are you ready to see Eat Real improving school meals in your community, and for students nationwide? Help us triple our state footprint this year and achieve our White House commitment.

Watch the full White House event below.

About Eat Real

Eat Real nourishes the future of American school children by putting real food on the table at school, at home, and in local and national policy. Our award-winning K-12 certification program provides Food Service leaders with the framework and support they need to make their school menus delicious, nutritious, and planet-sustaining. Alongside our community of food system advocates, chefs, and parents, we spread the word about the power and urgency of serving real food at every meal. And we leverage our unique vantage point to push for system change, advocating for healthier policies and higher food standards at the local, state, and national level so every child can look forward to a healthy future.