Local food bank president: Biden’s plan to end hunger by end of decade is ambitious< < Back to
ATHENS, Ohio – On Wednesday, President Joe Biden unveiled a plan to end hunger in the United States by 2030. This was announced at the White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Health. The plan includes five main goals, including improving food access and supporting physical activity for all.
Even though it’s been 50 years since the White House held a conference on these issues, hunger has still been a major problem in the United States, especially in southeast Ohio.
Above are statistics on food insecurity in Athens County. As of 2020, 11,120 people struggle with food insecurity in Athens County and people are working hard to feed those in the area.
The president of the Athens County Food Pantry, Karin Bright, thinks this plan is ambitious but has hope it will help those struggling to find food. She thinks a deadline would put the plan in the right direction to come to fruition.
“It’s going to be a very heavy lift, but it would be wonderful if we could eliminate hunger by 2030. It would be an amazing thing to see,” Bright said.
Everyone who works at the food pantry is a volunteer, and this includes the president. Bright likes to help those who need it but doesn’t want to do it for too long.
“We’ve always said our dream was to go out of business,” Bright said.
Professor Charles Lester, a history professor at Ohio University, teaches a course named Food and Power. Once Biden’s plan came out, his class spent the whole period talking about it, instead of what was on the agenda.
At first glance, Lester thinks this plan “appears to be a top, bottom approach, instead of a bottom, top approach. There are people on the front lines, here in Athens County for example, who are working on this issue every single day and I’m not seeing their input being taken.”
Lester doesn’t think it’s an accident this plan is coming out at this time of year. With the midterm election coming up, Lester hopes this is more than a political ploy.
“What I would like to see is this not being the end of the conversation but the start of the conversation,” Lester said.
Bright wants to stay out of the political aspects of this topic and wants to focus on feeding southeast Ohio. She doesn’t care if it’s a political ploy or not, she said she just wants people fed.
Though Bright thinks this plan will help, she thinks one aspect is missing–access to transportation. She believes this would help get people to places they can get food.
For those wanting to help those in need of food, you can find out more information at the Athens County Food Pantry’s website.
For food insecurity statistics on the state and nation, you can find more information on Feeding America’s website.