Vision for a Food Secure Nation
The members of the Aspen Dialogue on U.S. Food Insecurity & Healthcare Costs offer the following vision for a food secure America, and call for a multi-sectoral, system-wide effort to address the challenge of food insecurity over the coming decade. This vision statement is intended to bring long-neglected recognition to the link between food security and good health and to help chart a pathway forward to address food insecurity on the ground.
Our vision is that America will be a food secure nation, with all the intersecting systems across sectors—from the food industry to healthcare to policy—working together to create the opportunity for all families to be stronger, healthier and more productive in life. In this system, no individuals or households would be food insecure, with all people having access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life.
Food insecurity in our wealthy country is an unnecessary and costly insult to people’s health, dignity, learning, productivity, and family life, and to the nation’s prosperity. In the future, food insecurity and hunger should no longer be a driver of poor overall health and health outcomes, nor an economic burden on the nation’s economy and on the individual.
The causes of food insecurity are both simple and complex, interrelated and universal. They are simple in that they result largely from inadequate jobs, wages or public supports. They are complex in that they are enmeshed with the various strengths and weaknesses of America’s job market, healthcare and education systems, food industry, etc. and the ways those forces interact, even for those in our society who are struggling but who are not experiencing poverty per se.
Our goal here is modest: to pursue a doable set of strategies to quickly and substantially reduce food insecurity, and thereby reduce adverse health consequences and costs.