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Rules Committee to Host Roundtable on Food as Medicine

August 31, 2021 by Dan McCue
House Rules Committee Chair James McGovern, D-Mass.

WASHINGTON — The House Rules committee will host a roundtable discussion examining food as medicine on Wednesday, Sept. 1 at 2 p.m.

The event, announced by Committee Chairman James McGovern, D-Mass., is the seventh in a series of committee events highlighting the reality of food insecurity in the United States and examining the steps Congress and the Biden administration could take to address it.

“What we eat plays a major role in our overall health,” McGovern said in a written statement. “Prioritizing healthy meals can help prevent costly hospital visits and expensive prescription drugs while lowering hospital admissions, improving outcomes, and saving money. 

“As we work to end the hunger crisis in this country and make a White House hunger conference a reality, we must do more to ensure that policymakers understand that food is medicine,” he added.

Speakers at the roundtable will include Barbara Petee, executive director of The Root Cause Coalition; Dr. Steven Chen, chief medical office for ALL IN Alameda County; Dr. Trenor Williams, founder and CEO of Socially Determined; Karen Pearl, president and CEO of God’s Love We Deliver; and Santana Diaz, director of culinary operations at UC Davis Health.

Chairman McGovern recently asked Americans to share their experiences, research, and possible solutions to help guide the committee in this work. 

He has also called for a substantive, policy-focused White House hunger conference to create the roadmap to end hunger by 2030, a goal he shares with the United Nations.

Co-chair of the House Hunger Caucus, McGovern authored legislation which created the McGovern-Dole Food for Education Program. 

Now in its third decade, McGovern-Dole aims to provide at least one nutritious meal a day to some of the world’s most vulnerable children in a school setting. It has reduced the incidence of hunger among school-age children, increased school enrollments and attendance, and increased the support of families and communities for education. 

He also founded the bipartisan Food is Medicine working group in Congress to highlight how critical healthy meals are for American families.

The roundtable will be streamed live on rules.house.gov via Cisco Webex.

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